Ebro Puleva takes foothold in Finland

· The Ebro Puleva Group concludes purchase of Risella, leader on the Finnish rice market, for 4 million euro

· Following this operation, Ebro Puleva now has leading positions in 10 European countries: Portugal, Italy, Greece, UK, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Denmark and Finland.

Madrid, 1 July 2004. The Ebro Puleva Group, leader of the food sector in Spain, has concluded the purchase of Risella, leading rice brand in Finland, for 4 million euro. This operation, of enormous strategic importance, opens the door for Ebro Puleva in Finland and provides a base for the Group¿s expansion in Scandinavia, a market with huge potential and prospects for products such as precooked microwave dishes and special rices and flours.

Ebro Puleva¿s presence is also considerably boosted in Europe, where it now has leading positions in 10 countries: Portugal, Italy, Greece, UK, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Denmark and Finland.

Risella was previously owned by Raisio, one of the largest enterprises in the Finnish food sector. Ebro Puleva and Raisio reached a preliminary agreement for the sale of Risella on 11 June, and the process has finally concluded with the purchase of this asset by Ebro Puleva. Risella is the leading brand in the Finnish rice sector. It currently has a 24% market share and an annual turnover of 6 million euro.

Ebro Puleva will now take over the production, packaging and storage of Risella. The Group will use the Raisio resources to distribute products sold under that brand name in Finland.

The rice that Ebro Puleva plans to sell under the Risella brand in Finland is produced in Spain, which will greatly benefit the business of Spanish growers and boost the weight and position of Spanish rice in Europe.

Second international operation in 2004 and seventh in the past 18 months

The purchase of Risella is the second international transaction that Ebro Puleva has closed this year, following the acquisition of the company Vogan in the UK last April, and the seventh in the past 18 months.

Ebro Puleva is the largest group in the Spanish food sector, leader in the sugar, rice and dairy sectors. It owns a wide array of leading brands, such as Puleva, Ram, Leyma and El Castillo in the dairy sector, Azucarera in the sugar sector, and Brillante, La Cigala, Nomen, Oryza, Bosto, Reis Fit, Danrice and Riceland in the rice sector.


Company/Brand Country Date
Reis-Fit (Kraft Foods) Germany, Austria and Denmark April 2003
Abbot Laboratories USA/Spain July 2003
Stevens & Brotherton UK September 2003
Riceland Hungary November 2003
Danrice Denmark December 2004
Vogan UK March 2004
Risella Finland July 2004