The companies said that a binding deal had been signed which would be finalised by the end of the month, after certain contractual arrangements had been specified. Although the exact purchase price has not been finalised, Turkington, which specialises in handling and conveying equipment for bakery applications, said that it would be paying in excess of $10 million for the facilities.
Currently APV has a significant presence in the US market, but for Turkington this is the company's first footprint in the huge US market. Turkington, which was established in Burnley in 1978, already has sales offices in Australia, and has traditionally concentrated marketing its products in Europe. The company said that the acquisition will give it a valuable presence the market, allowing it to provide a complete range of equipment and services to the North American bakery industry.
Until now the company has been using the Goldsboro plant - which specialises in mixing, forming and ovens for bread and buns - as a distribution point for its products in the US. Turkington says that the newly formed division will trade initially as Turkingtons APV USA.
The APV Group, which has 35,000 employees worldwide, already has a significant presence in the US bakery market through its APV Baker manufacturing facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The company has said that its existing customers in the US will continue to be supplied by this operation.
The Goldsboro Plant last year had a sales turnover of $34 million, making it one of the leading facilities in the US field. The sale of the facility means that its operations, which have focused on a variety of equipment for the cookie, confectionery and cereals sector, will now become far more focused, concentrating on Turkingtons areas of specialisation for the bakery sector.
Although the bakery industry has been hit by the Atkins diet fad sweeping across the US, many bakery companies have fought back by offering a range of 'healthier' alternatives. In turn this has contributed to a rise in demand for bakery products in the US, overturning the downward spiral experienced in 2001 and 2002. According to Market Reports, the US market was one of the main driving force behind the 8.3 per cent rise in global bakery sales, which totalled $273 million in 2003.