Food processing firm Bella Bulgaria acquired Greek processed meat and dairy producer Creta Farms, for an undisclosed sum, the Bulgarian company announced on Sep.10.
The acquisition came following a decision by a court in the Greek city of Rethymno, which selected Bella Bulgaria as the new owner of Creta Farms, after a procedure in which several candidates competed for the acquisition rights by offering business restructuring plans.
The plan proposed by Bella Bulgaria includes a 64% reduction in Creta Farms' debts. The Greek company’s revenues should increase from 46 million EUR for the first financial year up to 130 million EUR in the 11th financial year, an increase of 10.8% on an annual basis, Bella Bulgaria said.
“We are satisfied with the court decision. Our goal is to revive Creta Farms as a market leader in the near future. This is the largest investment in the food industry of a Bulgarian company outside Bulgaria” commented the owner of Bella Bulgaria, the Netherlands-based Impala Invest Group.
Earlier this year, Greece's competition watchdog approved the partial acquisition of Creta Farms by the Bella Bulgaria's Greek subsidiary, Impala Hellas. The deal included the full management of Creta Farms and its subsidiary, Teto-Farm S.A.
“By its unanimous Decision No. 710/2020, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) unanimously approved, under Greek merger control rules, the proposed acquisition of sole control of CRETA FARMS and its subsidiary ΤΕΤΟ-FARM in Greece by BELLA BULGARIA A.D., through its subsidiary IMPALA HELLAS in Greece.
According to the Decision, the notified transaction does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with merger control rules in the relevant markets concerned by the concentration (meat, cold cuts and quick meals)” HCC said in a press release on April 21,2020.
The take over of Creta Farms follows Bella Bulgaria's 2019 acquisition of Hungarian peer Marathon Foods for 12 million levs (6.1 million EUR). As a result of the deal, Bella planned to gain active presence in the Western European Markets and to expand its network of partners by including well-known brands to its portfolio, the Bulgarian company said at the time.
Bella Bulgaria was founded in 1997 and has nine processing plants with a combined output of 350 tonnes of food per day. Its portfolio contains over 200 products (pastry products, meat products, margarine & oils, cheese and yellow cheese) manufactured under own and private brands in 9 processing plants. The company has affiliates in Romania and Greece.
Creta Farms was founded in 1970 and specializes in the production of a full range of deli products, including meats, cheeses and dairy products. It has patented a process to replace animal fat with extra virgin olive oil, thus managing not only to change dietary habits in Greece and abroad but also gained the recognition of the international scientific and business communities.
The company has two factories in Rethymno (Crete) and Krioneri (Athens), as well as three warehouses in Heraklion (Crete), Patras (Peloponnese) and Thessaloniki. Its products are popular among consumers in Germany, USA, Great Britain, Australia.
Bella Bulgaria and Creta Farms are both renowned companies that have made forays into a number of foreign markets offering quality products.