German food group Muller signs deal for Polish canner, leaves its salmon biz

Lisner — part of Unternehmensgruppe Theo Muller — has signed an agreement to purchase Graal Group’s canned fish, ready meals and pickles business only.

Lisner — part of German food giant Unternehmensgruppe Theo Muller — has signed an agreement to purchase Polish canner Graal Group’s canned fish, ready meals and pickles business.

The deal is for 100% of this business, while Graal’s salmon operations are not included, Undercurrent News understands.

The deal announcement comes almost a year after Undercurrent reported Muller was in talks with Graal’s majority shareholder — private equity Abris Capital Partners — over a potential deal.

Muller is one of the biggest yogurt brands in Europe with a turnover of close to €6 billion ($6.38bn), while Abris delisted Graal from the Warsaw Stock Exchange when it invested in 2017. Speaking to Undercurrent in 2019 two years later, Boguslaw Kowalski, who founded the company in 1990, confirmed that the company had revenue of €280 million, which he then said it was looking to double.

Lisner, a recognized brand mainly for herring products, salads and sandwich spreads, has an appetite for further development, it said. “Wanting to expand the portfolio, Lisner signed an agreement to purchase part of the Graal Group’s business related to the categories of canned fish, ready meals and pickles.”

The Muller group includes numerous major global brands in the dairy, fish and delicatessen (including dressing) and service industries. In Poland, it is mainly represented by the Muller and Lisner brands.

Its ambition is to meet the needs of consumers by expanding the product offer in the fish and delicatessen segment, it explained.

“The acquisition planned by Lisner supports these aspirations and has the potential to enrich the portfolio with new, complementary products. For many years, Lisner has been an innovative manufacturer that successfully introduces new products, thus influencing the development of the food market.”

Lisner Holding signed the agreement on Feb. 16. Its finalization is subject to obtaining the consent of the president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, it said.

Antarctica Advisors and Rothschild acted as M&A co-advisors to Graal for the transaction.

According to Lisner, Graal offers a diversified portfolio in the fish and meat category, whose flagship products are canned fish. Currently, the group belongs to Kowalski and private equity Abris. It has four plants with different production profiles located in the northern part of the country and its own distribution center.

The total output of its four facilities- three located near the north coast of the country, with a fourth near the city of Lodz- is approximately 430 metric tons per day.


SOURCE: Undercurrent News