LDC (Lambert-Dodart-Chancereul), the largest poultry processor in France, is to acquire Vendée based Groupe Arrivé, number 4 in the sector, with the main objective to develop the market for processed products.
This operation, carried out in an undisclosed cash only transaction, is still subject to approval of the Competition Authority, said Denis Lambert, CEO of LDC.
Southwest cooperative Maisadour partly (40%) owns the Fermier Landais group of Arrivé and has the right of first buy on this part.
Established in 1950, Arrivé (brands Maître Coq, St Sever) achieved a turnover of €561 mln in 2008. It has 2,835 employees and 11 production sites.
While the poultry sector is reorganising to take positions at the European level, the group Arrivé, 35% owned by the Arrivé family, does not consider itself being large.
"We are not part of the European top 3, but the market must be restructured to be competitive where distributors are becoming increasingly stronger," explained Jacques Arrivé, current CEO.
In the financial year 2008-2009, LDC’s profits decreased by 20.3% to €42.6 mln, against €53.5 mln last year. With sales up 6.4% to €1.94 bln, the group sees earnings from operations decline by 17% to €61.3 mln, a result described as "good performance in the current context".
For the year 2009-2010, LDC expects a net operating profit of around €75 mln (excl. acquisitions) through a return in consumption of poultry to normal levels, mainly in Q1 2009.