Madrid, 4 April 2008. Ebro Puleva has reached an agreement in principle with an undisclosed investor for the sale of the Belgian company Herto N.V. Conclusion of the deal is subject to a Due Diligence, due to be completed by mid-May.
The agreed price is 21 million euro, debt free, which is equivalent, according to year-end 2007 figures, to a value 7.2 times EBITDA. The Ebro Puleva Group will secure a capital gain on this divestment of the order of 6 million euro.
This company, 66%-owned by the Ebro Puleva Group and 33% by the Australian company Ricegrowers, is engaged mainly in the production and sale of rice cakes and healthy snacks. It makes 90% of its sales to external clients and only 10% to the Ebro Puleva brands. It has a production capacity of over 7000 tonnes of rice cakes a year and an average workforce of 170 employees.
A new breakthrough in our strategic plan
This divestment coincides in time with a deal clinched by our French subsidiary Panzani to sell its soft wheat business managed by the company Grands Moulins Laurel. The purpose of this sale is to concentrate on the durum wheat segment. The cash input from this transaction will be approx. 15 million euro, corresponding to the working capital.
Both transactions are made within Ebro Puleva¿s current strategic plan, which aims above all to focus efforts and resources on its core businesses, optimise overheads, divest in non-strategic businesses and properties not tied to the Group¿s activities and reduce debt.