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Bel to acquire majority stake in healthy snack maker MOM Group

FBR Staff Writer Published 24 October 2016

French dairy giant The Bel Group has entered into an agreement with LBO France to acquire a majority stake in fruit snacks and dessert maker MOM Group.

Under the agreement, Bel will acquire 65% stake in the company, while the remaining will be held by MOM’s management.

The transaction, which values the MOM Group at €850m ($923m), will be financed by Bel’s own financial resources and a €500m ($543m) debt issue.

Currently, MOM employs 1,300 people and owns four production sites, including two in France and two in the US.

Besides selling historical Materne and Mont Blanc brands in France, it created the fruit squeezers category and expanded its presence with Pom’Potes brand in France and its GoGo squeeZ brand in the US.

The acquisition is expected to help Bel to create a major global player in the healthy snacks segment.

On the other hand, it enables MOM to boost its growth with Bel’s international presence.

MOM CEO Michel Larroche said: “For MOM, this partnership with Bel offers a unique opportunity to accelerate the growth of our healthy, fruit and dairy snack brands by leaning on the Bel Group’s extraordinary international reach.

“Our partnership with Bel will help create a global, healthy snack-food company that is uniquely positioned and supported by strong brands.”

In July, Bel agreed to engage in exclusive negotiations to acquire a majority stake MOM.

The completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of French and the US competition authorities. The authorities are expected to give their approval to the deal by the end of the year.

Bel can also acquire 100% of MOM’s share capital by April 2022 under a liquidity agreement.

Bel chairman and chief executive officer Antoine Fiévet said: “This transaction alongside the MOM Group managers represents a historical opportunity for Bel to assert its leadership as a major player in the healthy snacks segment, in line with the directions that we have set for the coming years.

“At MOM, as at Bel, the strategic relevance of the deal and the range of growth opportunities it creates are clear to everyone.”

Image: Butter cookies. Photo courtesy of Raielcla/Wikipedia.