Dough and lipid firm Vandemoortele raises cash and ambitions

By Lindsey Partos

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Baking European union Economics

A cash injection for frozen dough and lipid supplier Vandemoortele is set to boost the firm's business-to-business activities targeted at bakers and snack makers.

Belgian private equity firm Gimv will invest €75m in the Vandemoortele group, providing capital for the ingredients firm to push further into its bakery and margarines and fats business.

"Gimv’s minority stake strengthens the equity of Vandemoortele, enabling the family group to realise its growth plans in the divisions of frozen bakery and margarines & fats,"​ commented Jean Vandemoortele, president of the Vandemoortele group.

The capital injection slots into the group's strategy, announced earlier this year, to focus fully on its bakery and lipid activities that make up 80 per cent of the group's ​1.2bn annual turnover. The remaining chunk hails from the Belgian firm's consumer soy business Alpro.

Responding to a "financial and macro-economic environment that has fundamentally changed",​ in January this year Vandemoortele announced it would shed its consumer soy food products business to focus on the B2B frozen bakery and lipids businesses.

"The sale of Alpro and the ongoing capital increase of Group Vandemoortele will bring in the necessary resources to pursue the expansion in Bakery and Lipids,"​ said the group in January.

Prior to this week's capital boost for bakery and lipids, in 2008 the Ghent-based firm massively strengthened its frozen bakery position in the European market through the bolt-on acquisition of French market leader Panavi last year.

With twenty-two factories and seventeen distribution centres frozen bakery product supplier Panavi chalked up turnover of €307m in 2007 from a range that mainly consists of bread and breakfast pastry.

"Within Europe, France is the largest market for frozen bread, breakfast pastry and pastry. After the take-over of Panavi, Vandemoortele, with its extensive and unique product range, will rank itself among the key players in Europe,”​ said Jean Vandemoortele at the time of the buy-out.

Following the acquisition, Belgium's​Vandemoortele family business now has 34 factories in total dotted around Europe, and 3,800 employees.

Vandemoortele claims the European market for​frozen bakery products, such as donuts and breakfast pastries, is growing between five and ten per cent each year.

Growth at the Belgian firm will spear through the Panvi take-over and its latest cash pump from equity firm Gimv.

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