Ebro Puleva grows in Northern Europe after buying up two companies in Denmark

– This is the fifth international purchase made by Ebro Puleva this year.

Madrid (December, 2nd 2003). Ebro Puleva, leading group in the Spanish food sector, has closed a deal to purchase Danrice and Danpasta, leaders in the frozen rice and pasta sectors. With this transaction, encompassed within Ebro Puleva’s strategy of growth and expansion, the group strengthens its international presence, consolidates its leadership in the North of Europe and branches out into other segments of the market (frozen rice and pasta) with high yield and growth potential.

The acquisition of Danrice and Danpasta is the group’s fifth international transaction this year. In April, it closed a deal with Kraft Foods to buy its rice trademarks (Reis Fit) in Germany, Austria and Denmark. In July, Ebro Puleva purchased the Puleva trademarks for baby food (purees and baby milks) from Abbott Laboratories. In September, Ebro Puleva absorbed Stevens & Brotherton, creating a leader on the UK rice market. And in November, the group took over Riceland-Magyarország, leader on the Hungarian market.

These operations have been made in fulfilment of Ebro Puleva’s Strategic Plan 2002-2006, which aims primarily to increase the group’s participation in businesses with a higher value added and acquire prestigious brands.

Ebro Puleva spreads its wings into Denmark, Germany, Scandinavia and France

Danrice (frozen rice) and Danpasta (frozen pasta) both belong to the same business group (Danrice), specialising in the supply of processed and frozen products for the manufacturers of pre-cooked dishes. The leading European processed food brands are among its clientele. It operates in Germany, Scandinavia and Northern France, as well as in Denmark.

The Danrice group has grown solidly since its start-up, in both sales and yield. A consolidated turnover of the order of 15 million euro is forecast for this year, which it expects to close with a net profit of 1.7 million euro. In terms of volume, the Danrice group processes and sells approximately 21,000 tonnes of frozen rice and around 7,000 tonnes of frozen pasta.

This transaction, valued at 18.7 million euro, will generate major synergies for Ebro Puleva in general and for its rice division in particular. The group thus boosts and expands its business of supplying rice to industrial clients, offering new products and varieties and, what is more important, it opens the door to the frozen pasta sector, a market segment very similar to the rice segment, with a high yield and strong growth.

Increased exports of Spanish rice

This operation greatly benefits rice growers in Spain, who will become the principal supplier of raw material for Danrice (which previously purchased rice from the USA), and will, therefore, increase the exports of Spanish rice to Northern Europe.

Ebro Puleva is the first group in the Spanish food sector, heading the sugar, rice and dairy sectors. It has a wide selection of leading brands, including Puleva, Ram, Leyma and El Castillo in the dairy sector; Azucarera and Sucran in the sugar sector; and Brillante, Nomen, La Cigala, Oryza, Bosto, Reis Fit and Riceland in the rice sector.

The Group recorded a net profit of 87 million euro to September 2003, 15.2% up on the same period of last year, and a turnover of 1,507 million euro.