The strategic alliance is expected to give Smilde a route into Asia.
Delices de Palais is currently owned by Hafner. The company produces a wide range of bakery products including choux, éclairs, tartlets, biscuit sheets and frozen cakes.
Smilde hopes to upscale production for the French side of its Délices du Palais business by partnering with Hafner.
Under the deal, Hafner would take control of French operations while Smilde would manage Délices du Palais plants in the Netherlands.
Any deal will mark the first time the two companies have teamed up.
Consolidated French market
Maiko van der Meer, general manager for Smilde told BakeryAndSnacks.com: “They [Hafner] were the ideal partners to serve the French business”
He said the two companies had similar product portfolios, which completed each other and did not raise competition concerns.
According to van der Meer, the French market was consolidating and companies would need to be big in order to be successful.
If the deal goes through, Hafner are expected to take control of Délices du Palais’ two factories in Renaison and Septeuil. Meanwhile, Smilde will continue to operate its two Délices du Palais factories in the Netherlands.
Van der Meer said production at the French sites could be optimised with Hafner on board and would enable the Délices du Palais business to enter global markets.
Route to Asia
He said that Hafner had global distribution networks that Smilde currently doesn’t have at its disposal.
Hafner, he said, were present in Asia and the Middle-East, which could also allow Smilde’s traditional Dutch products to enter new markets.
Asked when the deal was expected to conclude, van der Meer said that discussions were on-going.