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October 3, 2022

France’s Lactalis buys biggest Romanian dairy company

According to a communiqué released by Romania’s Albalact, France’s Lactalis Group has bought 70 per cent of the shares of the biggest Romanian dairy company. In the upcoming period, Lactalis will come up with a full takeover offer.

“Lactalis has concluded a contract with the selling shareholders who own a total of 70.3 per cent of the registered capital of Albalact, a contract whose objective is the purchase of all shares owned by the selling shareholders,” the Albalact communiqué reads.

The transaction is worth a total of RON 407 M, sum from which Albalact’s net debts will be deducted. Simultaneously with the purchase of the 70 per cent shares package, Lactalis will initiate a public voluntary takeover offer whose objective consists of 100 per cent of the shares owned by Albalact shareholders, receiving from the selling shareholders the firm commitment to subscribe all shares they own, according to the communiqué. The final price would be RON 0.45 per share, based on the calculations presented in the communiqué, but Albalact warns that the price could change. That price is 37 per cent higher than the one registered on Bucharest Stock Exchange’s (BVB) ALBZ section at the end of the trading day on Wednesday.

The transaction needs the Competition Council’s approval.

Albalact has a history of over 40 years in the dairy industry and, since 2008, has been the leader of the national milk market with the Zuzu brand. Albalact produces milk and fresh dairy products at its plant in Oiejdea, Alba County, one of the most modern dairy plants in Central and Eastern Europe. The company is also producing a diversified range of cheeses at its Raraul plant in Bucovina, a plant it bought in 2008 and which has a long tradition in the production of cheese and hard cheese.

Albalact is the leader of other market segments too. The company owns the best-selling brand of butter and sour cream – the De Albalact traditional brand. Albalact is the second biggest producer on the yoghurt segment with its Zuzu brand, and on the fresh cottage cheese segment with the Raraul brand.

Businessman Raul Ciurtin is the company’s largest shareholder, indirectly owning 42.53 per cent of Albalact shares through the Cyprus-based Crisware Holdings and Croniar Holdings. Albalact’s list of shareholders also includes the RC2 investment fund, registered in Cyprus, with 25.45 per cent of the shares.

Lactalis is the world’s biggest dairy company, with 200 plants in 43 countries, around 75,000 employees and a turnover of EUR 17 bln last year. In Romania, Lactalis owns Dorna Lactate, a company that sells milk and dairy products under the LaDorna brand.

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