The Norwegian Competition Authority has approved Orkla's purchase of Rieber & Søn ASA. With this purchase, Orkla has acquired such well-known brands as Toro, Vitana, K-Salat, Delecta, Frödinge, Chaka and Bähncke.
The agreement with the Rieber family covers the purchase of 90.11% of the shares in Rieber & Søn ASA. The transaction is planned to be completed within a week. Orkla will then make a mandatory offer to the remaining shareholders in Rieber & Søn based on the same purchase price per share that is being paid to the Rieber family. In parallel, a decision will be made to conduct a compulsory acquisition of minority shareholdings, and an application will be made to delist the company's shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
"With this acquisition we are strengthening our position as the leading Nordic branded consumer goods company for food and beverages. Rieber & Søn has strong brands that are an optimal match for Orkla's product portfolio in terms of categories, production technology and geography," says Orkla President and CEO Åge Korsvold.
When the transaction has been completed, the integration of Rieber & Søn into Orkla will begin. The plan is to merge Rieber & Søn Norge with Stabburet, and Rieber & Søn Danmark with Beauvais foods, and to integrate Frödinge in Sweden into the merged Abba Seafood and Procordia.
"We intend to create a driving force in the Nordic food industry, with the competence and resources to develop strong local products and brands in competition with international companies. We aim to have a prominent presence in the various markets, and to offer food products that are adapted to local consumer preferences," says Korsvold.
In the markets outside the Nordic region - the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia and Slovakia - the companies in Rieber & Søn will continue to operate as independent entities.
Rieber & Søn has a number of well-known brands and businesses: Toro is Norway's leading supplier of sauces, soups and ready meals, among other things. Other popular Norwegian brands are Denja, Mr. Lee, Vossafår and Vestlandslefsa. Vitana is one of the Czech Republic's largest and longest-established food manufacturers. K-Salat is well-positioned in both Sweden and Denmark in the mayonnaise, remoulade and salad markets. Delecta is one of Poland's leading dessert and baking mix brands. Frödinge is market leader for refrigerated and frozen cakes and desserts in Sweden. Chaka is a well-known Russian brand of nuts. Bähncke holds the leading position in the Danish mustard market. In addition, Rieber & Søn is a supplier to the out-of-home sector in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Rieber & Søn ASA had total sales of NOK 4.164 million in 2012, of which 70% were generated in the Nordic region. The Group has around 2,600 employees, of whom 1,600 work outside Norway.