Madrid, 27 July 2006 – Ebro Puleva, S.A. has reached an agreement with Kraft Foods Global Inc. to buy its rice business Minute Rice in the United States and Canada.
Minute Rice is second in branded, retail rice sales in Canada and fifth in the U.S.A. It posted a turnover of approximately $90 million in 2005, with an EBITDA of over $37 million.
The acquisition of Minute Rice opens the doors to the Canadian rice market, where our Group did not have any branded business. The transaction, valued at approximately $280 million, will be closed once the necessary approval has been obtained from the U.S. anti-trust authorities.
New World Pasta, Riviana and Minute Rice, considerable weight within the Group
The incorporation of Minute Rice, following the recent acquisition of New World Pasta, gives our U.S. business a major role within the Group. Approximately 28% of the total consolidated EBITDA and around 20% of the total turnover would thus be contributed by the US triangle.
The addition of Minute Rice also will permit a high level of synergy, adding to those already achieved through the coordination of Riviana, New World Pasta and Panzani. These synergies will affect the Commercial, Industrial, Marketing and Advertising areas.
Moving ahead in the Canadian food market
The acquisition of Minute Rice is the second achievement in our strategic plan 2006-2009 and a major leap forward in the development of our company, in which we aim to increase our branded business and strengthen our position on the geographical markets of greatest interest for the Group. This purchase consolidates the Group¿s already strong position on the Canadian food market and opens the doors to a new segment, the rice market. The acquisition of Minute Rice also pushes Ebro Puleva up the ranking of U.S. food companies, putting it among the top fifteen.
About Ebro Puleva
Ebro Puleva (www.ebropuleva.com) is the leading Spanish food group in terms of turnover, profit, market capitalization and international presence. Ebro Puleva is world leader in the rice sector, second worldwide in the pasta sector, the leading sugar group in Spain and number 1 on the Spanish dairy products market. The Group has leading brand names in each of these sectors, including: Panzani®, Ronzoni®, Skinner®, Healthy Harvest®, American Beauty®, Saint Giorgio®, Catelli® and Lancia® in pasta and sauces, Mahatma®, Sucess®, Carolina®, Lustucru®, Taureau Ailé®, Oryza®, Bosto®, Reis-Fit®, Riceland®, Danrice®, Risella®, Brillante®, Nomen®, La Cigala® and La Fallera® in the rice sector, Puleva®, Ram® and El Castillo® in the dairy sector and finally Azucarera® and Sucran® in the sugar sector.