Parmalat sells US bakery

Related tags Parmalat

Stricken Italian firm Parmalat, still being investigated for fraud,
has sold its loss-making North American Bakery Group to private
equity firm Catterton Partners, reports Chris Mercer.

The move will hand Catterton control of Parmalat's Archway and Mother's brands as well as its share of the US and Canadian private label cookie business. Neither group has released details of the deal except that Catterton will change the US bakery name to Archway and Mother's Cookie Company and the Canadian bakery to A&M Cookie Company Canada.

Parmalat's US bakery subsidiary reported continued losses last April which contributed to $6.8 million operating deficit for the region. The company has been looking to offload its "non-core"​ bakery business for some time in order to "fully focus on our long-term commitment to the Canadian dairy market"​, where it produces a range of products from cheese to fruit juices.

And Catterton, which focuses on consumer markets, believes its can use its contacts and strategic experience "to accelerate growth of this dynamic company and position us to build sales, increase long-term profitability and establish a more competitive position in the market"​, according to Archway and Mother's new chairman, Keith Lively.

Catterton will work with management specialists Insight Holdings to try and turn the bakery business around. Insight has already run similar companies such as Terra Chips and Famous Amos Cookies.

Italian Dairy firm Parmalat is still in the middle of investigations into fraudulent bankruptcy and account rigging by several employees and even some bankers. To make matters worse, the firm also owes around $26 billion (€20 billion) to creditors.

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