March 09, 2012 03:43 ET

Bonduelle Announces the Acquisition of Allens Frozen Vegetables Sites in the United States

PARIS--(Marketwire - Mar 9, 2012) - The Bonduelle Group has announced the acquisition by its North American subsidiary, Bonduelle North America, of three processing plants and a packaging centre for frozen vegetables belonging to the American firm Allens.

The transaction, which consists in the purchase of the Group's assets, could be concluded at the end of March, following authorisation by the US Competition Authorities, and concerns four of the five Allens frozen vegetable industrial sites -- Bergen, Oakfield, Brockport (State of New York) and Fairwater (Wisconsin) -- assuring the jobs of 400 permanent employees. It includes the Chill Ripe and Garden Classic brands as well as the right to use the Allens and Veg-All brand names for a period of 18 months.

Allens is a family business created in 1926 in Arkansas (its head office is in Siloam Springs), which originally specialised in canned vegetables. In 2006 Allens entered the frozen vegetable segment by acquiring the Birds Eye industrial sites dedicated to the distributor's own brand products. In 2011 the Allens Group's sales of frozen vegetables represented a volume of around 150,000T in the USA, with 40% going to the General Public, 25% to Foodservice and 35% to industrial sales.

Until now, Bonduelle North America (head office in Montreal), the leader in canned and frozen vegetables in Canada under distributors' own brands and under its own labels (Bonduelle, Arctic Gardens, etc.) with over de 335,000T of vegetables grown in Quebec and Ontario, exported 30% of its production to the United States, mainly as frozen produce via the Foodservice networks. This acquisition will not only allow it to reinforce the growth of its sales but will also be advantageous in terms of exchange rate risks (better balance of productions and sales in US dollars) and the balancing of climate-related risks.

The Bonduelle Group, whose head office is situated in Villeneuve d'Ascq in northern France, is the world leader in prepared vegetables (canned, frozen, dehydrated, bagged salads in sachets and delicatessen products). It operates 42 production sites in Western Europe, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Canada and Brazil, generates a turnover of €1,726 million and employs 7,250 permanent employees.

With this acquisition, the Bonduelle Group becomes one of the main players in prepared vegetables in North America and pursues its growth outside of the European Union.

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