Bonduelle in talks to sell a large part of its North American assets

French vegetable supplier Bonduelle has entered into exclusive negotiations with two Canadian institutional investors for the partial sale of its Bonduelle Americas Long Life (BALL) business.

Bonduelle is discussing with Montreal’s Fonds de solidarité FTQ and the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ) an agreement to sell 65% of the company for C$850 million (US$660.5 million).

With sales of CAD 943 million in Bonduelle’s 2020-2021 fiscal year, BALL manufactures canned and frozen vegetables in the United States, Canada and Brazil for the retail and catering sectors . The company markets products under brands such as Arctic Gardens and Del Monte. It also provides private label products.

However, the possible disposal focuses on assets in the United States and Canada. It follows a review of the BALL business, announced in September 2021. Bonduelle said then that the unit did not match its strategy and that it would make a decision on its future within four months.

Speaking yesterday (24 May), the company said the proposed transaction would enable the group to “further pursue the deployment of its activities, in particular the development of its brand activities, in line with its strategic priorities and its ambition sustainable growth with positive effects”. impact”.

Guillaume Debrosse, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bonduelle, declared: “The transaction with the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and the CDPQ would allow BALL to pursue its development in a constantly consolidating North American market and to finance its investments for growth and profitability, without new capital allocation. by the Bonduele Group.

“As a minority shareholder, Bonduelle will ultimately benefit from 35% of the value created by this activity.”

Dany Pelletier, Executive Vice-President, Investments of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, declared: “The Fonds de solidarité FTQ is proud to build this partnership to carry out this structuring transaction for the Quebec agri-food sector.

“The transaction involving Bonduelle Americas Long Life, the Fund and its partners will become one of the largest in the Quebec food industry. It will allow the company to continue its North American expansion while maintaining a crucial head office here.

Kim Thomassin, Executive Vice-President and Head of Quebec at CDPQ, said: “Alongside our partners, we look forward to pursuing Bonduelle Americas Long Life’s ambitious expansion plan to consolidate its position as a Canadian leader and develop the US market more.

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