Caroli Foods Group, Romania’s leading producer of packaged meat products, is now an integral part of Sigma Alimentos (“Sigma”) following the Mexican company’s latest purchase of 51% of Caroli’s share in addition to the 49% it owned through the Campofrio Food Group.
The transaction is the latest evolution in Caroli’s 23 years of continuous growth. Established in Bucharest in 1994, the company expanded across market segments and territories, building a comprehensive portfolio of successful brands such as Caroli, Campofrio, Sissi, Maestro and Primo. Caroli Group grew from a family-operated company to one of the largest employers of the industry, employing over 1,200 people, having its factory in Pitești and a strong distribution network with a net sales exceeding 100 Million EUR in 2016 whereas the net rev is of 88 Million Euros.
Building over the years, Caroli Foods Group consolidates the national leadership position in its segment in Romania, reaching a value market share in modern trade of 17% from the total packaged modern trade market (based on the Nielsen report Jan-July 2017). The current transaction does not imply any major management changes, with Khaled El Solh (photo) staying as Caroli Foods Group CEO, along with his management team.
“We see the transaction as further proof of the value and results of the Caroli Foods group and our Brands that we have been building over the year together with our partners, to respond to our customers’ needs for the last quarter of a century” Mr. El Solh stated. “It is also a major step on the Caroli Foods Group journey – Sigma’s knowledge and experience with global operations and expansive product range will help us further to develop our brands and categories in new and exciting ways, while maintaining the core values of what makes Caroli Foods Group great”, he added.
Talal El Solh one of the main shareholders of Caroli Foods who remained the chairman of the supervisory board commented “Taking into consideration the knowhow of Sigma Group in many categories and geographical markets, we’ve identified together with Sigma opportunities for growing the business in new categories and markets”.
The 2010 joint venture between Caroli Foods Group and Campofrio Food Group saw Campofrio offering support and expertise for Caroli’s expansion in exchange for 49% of its shares. In 2014, following Sigma’s expansion in Europe through its acquisition of Campofrio, Sigma also became a minority shareholder in the Romanian company.
Sigma is one of the leading global players in the refrigerated food industry, with 69 production facilities in 18 countries, more than 44000 employees and revenues of USD 5.7 billion. Its product portfolio includes cooked and cured meats, cheese, yogurt and other refrigerated and frozen foods.
In this regard, Mario Páez, Sigma CEO, said: “This acquisition allows us to continue with our growth strategy in the highly attractive region of Eastern Europe”
Meanwhile, Ricardo Doehner, Sigma Europe / Campofrio CEO, commented: “We are determined to combine the best of Sigma with Caroli in order to continue delivering superior value to the Romanian consumers”
The Campofrio Food Group company (now completely owned by Sigma) operates 25 factories with almost 7000 employees in the continent, with the European share of revenues coming in at over 1.9 Billion Euros.
About Caroli Group
Caroli Foods Group is now the leader in the Romanian packaging meat products, both in value and in volume and one of the most successful food meat producer in the South-East Europe. Due to high quality products and the specific taste of the products adapted very well on the consumers taste, Caroli Foods Brands are placed in the top of the consumers’ preferences. The company was founded in Romania in 1994 and, over time, has provided quality food for all types of consumers. The portfolio currently includes five brands: Caroli, Campofrio, Sissi, Maestro and Primo, with over 200 food items. The group has a factory in Pitesti, warehouses across the country, a fleet of over 350 vehicles and an important distribution network.
Sigma is a leading multinational company in the refrigerated food industry, focused on the production, marketing and distribution of quality branded foods, including cooked and cured meats, cheese, yogurt and other refrigerated and frozen foods. Sigma has a diversified portfolio of leading brands, 69 plants and operates in 18 countries across its four key regions: Mexico, Europe, the United States, and Latin America.