GEA mulls food processing acquisitions with €500m warchest

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food processing sector, Corporate finance, Gea

GEA has amassed a takeover warchest in excess of €500m as the company confirmed it is considering concrete acquisitions in the food processing sector.

The German technology giant told that it could be eying a takeover target in the food processing sector worth between €200-300m. GEA confirmed as accurate reports in the German business media that chief financial officer Dr Helmut Schmale said the deal could add a new business segment to the company.

However, the firm which also specialises in energy processing - would not rule out an acquisition in this sector either.


GEA has accrued a takeover fund of €520m – composed of liquid assets worth EUR 370m as well as a €150m credit line agreed at the end of last year with the European Investment Bank until 2016.

A company spokeswoman said: “The main focus of GEA’s acquisition strategy is on food-processing technology, but we don’t rule out acquisitions in energy technology.”

Following publication of its Q1 2010 results Dr Schmale said that acquisitions would continue to be based on the market, what product or process technology supplements any deal could bring to the GEA portfolio, synergy potential and purchase price.

Q1 results

Earlier this month the company announced its first quarter results, hailing the fact that its orders had once again the €1bn mark, as in the previous period. CEO Jürg Oleas described the results as “respectable”.

The firm said its €51.3m EBIT was down on the previous year’s result and that the amount of liquid funds had fallen compared to Q4 2009 on a reduction in working capital attributable to seasonal factors.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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