Madrid, 18 May 2006. The Ebro Puleva Group has signed an exclusive negotiation agreement with a business consortium formed by Grupo Nacional de Chocolates, S.A. and Florida Ice & Farm Co. (FIFCO) to sell its juice and biscuit/cookie businesses in Central America. These businesses are run by Riviana Pozuelo and Alimentos Kern¿s. The agreement is secured with a US$ 20m deposit
Economically and strategically propitious
The price agreed for both lines of business is US$ 205m. The deal is subject to discussion of the Sale and Purchase Agreement, a confirmatory Due Diligence and eventually, approval by the Anti-Trust Authorities of each country. The process is expected to be concluded on or around 30 August.
During 2005, the juice and biscuit businesses contributed US$ 114.8m in sales and an EBITDA of US$ 16.8m to Ebro Puleva¿s consolidated income. In 1Q06 they contributed US$ 30.7m and an EBITDA of US$ 4.8m.
The deal would produce a capital gain before tax close to US$ 93m, which will be recorded foreseeably in the 3Q accounts.
With this deal Ebro Puleva makes further progress in its action plan to concentrate the Group¿s resources and efforts in its four core businesses: sugar, milk, rice and pasta, where it has leading brands, value added and capacity to generate synergies.
Over recent years the Group has been divesting from businesses and companies considered non-strategic: Proterra, Ciapsa, Progando, Vasco de Gama, etc., and more recently it shed its investment in Chile and the agricultural business in Tenerife.
The cash flow generated on this transaction will be used to reduce the debt and incorporate new businesses to foster and boost the Ebro Puleva strategy.
Agreement between leaders
Grupo Nacional de Chocolates (http://www.chocolates.com) is leader in the Colombian food sector and one of the leading food groups in Latin America. It has seven core businesses: coffee, pastas, chocolates, biscuits/cookies, sweets, meats and ice creams.
FIFCO (http://www.florida.co.cr/index.htm) is a business group firmly rooted in Costa Rica, with investments in the food and beverages industry and in tourism and services. In the beverages sector, it focuses mainly on the production and distribution of beer, bottled water and fruit and malt soft drinks.
Ebro Puleva (www.ebropuleva.com) is the leading Group in the Spanish food sector in terms of turnover, profits, market capitalisation and international presence. Ebro Puleva is world leader in the rice sector, the leading sugar group in Spain, leader in the marketing of dairy products in Spain and the second group in Europe in the pasta sector. It has leading brand names in each of these sectors, including: Puleva®, Ram® and El Castillo® in the dairy sector; Azucarera® and Sucran® in the sugar sector; Brillante®, Nomen®, La Cigala®, La Fallera®, Oryza®, Bosto®, Reis-Fit®, Riceland®, Danrice®, Risella®, Mahatma®, Sucess®, Carolina®, Lustucru® and Taureau Ailé® in the rice sector and Panzani® in pasta and sauces.