Madrid, 12 July 2007. Ebro Puleva has reached an agreement to buy the German company Birkel Teigwaren Gmbh (Birkel), leader of the pasta sector in that country. The transaction is subject to approval by the German antitrust authorities.
Birkel is the leading pasta producer in Germany, with a market share of 18% (more than 40% in high value added product ranges). It is also present in the sauces sector and is one of the five best-known food brands among German consumers. In the last financial year (ended September 2006) it posted an annual turnover of more than 90 million euro and an EBITDA of 4.3 million euro. It has an extensive product portfolio, which it sells mainly under the brands Birkel®, 3 Glocken®, Schuele®, Minuto® and Nudel Up®.
The transaction is valued at 30 million euro, including all financial and pension fund debt.
Opening up to new markets with a privileged position in Germany
The acquisition of Birkel, the third international transaction made within the Group¿s Strategic Plan 2007-2009, is a major breakthrough in the Group¿s geographical expansion and in the capturing of new markets.
The German company also holds significant positions in the Baltic Region and Russia, giving Ebro Puleva a foothold on high-growth international markets, which offer a superb growth opportunity for the Group.
The incorporation of Birkel considerably strengthens our position on the German food market, in which we are already present through our rice subsidiary Euryza (with its brands Oryza® and Reis Fit®). The sum of both businesses will contribute a turnover of approximately ¿160 million to the Group¿s consolidated earnings.
Moving relentlessly towards an objective: being world leaders in pasta
The purchase of Birkel is the fourth transaction made by the Group in the pasta segment in less than two years. Each of these acquisitions, Panzani in France (No. 1, 38% market share), New World Pasta in the USA (No. 1, 28% market share, through Ronzoni, Healthy Harvest and other brands) and Canada (No. 1, 40% market share through Catelli) have made Ebro Puleva number one pasta manufacturer in all the countries in which it operates. Birkel, with its position as leader of this sector in Germany, is a new breakthrough in the Group¿s target of reaching the leading position in the world pasta market.
This new transaction gives Ebro Puleva an opportunity to apply its expertise in the Meal Solutions business in the first country of the European Union.