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Danish Crown and HK Ruokatalo announce joint majority in Polish meat company

by 5m Editor
9 August 2004, at 12:00am

DENMARK - Sokolow S.A. is the market leader of branded meat products in Poland, and is listed at the Polish Stock exchange. The company has been owned mainly by international investors. Today, it has been announced that the large Danish cooperative meat company Danish Crown has indirectly acquired 22,54% of the shares in the company.

Danish Crown

At the same time, Danish Crown and the present Finnish shareholder HK Ruokatalo have decided to establish a joint-venture around their holdings in the company, with the intention of obtaining a majority.

According to the Warszaw stock exchange legislation, it is necessary to obtain consent from the Polish Securities Commission. Also, due to the size of the joint venture, the matter must be notified to the competition office in the European Commission.

Danish Crown, HK Ruokatalo and Sokolow are all well known companies in the European meat industry. Danish Crown is a cooperative owned by the Danish farmers, wheras HK Ruokatalo is listed at the Helsinki stock exchange, although controlled by the Finnish farmers through at cooperative holding company.

Simo Palokangas, CEO of HK Ruokatalo, and Kjeld Johannesen, CEO of Danish Crown, commented that “We see Sokolow as a strong player in Poland, and we believe that our common ownership in the company will contribute positively to the development of Sokolow. This company has invested in the future, and its management has been able to bring the company forward also through difficult times. We believe that the Polish meat industry has a lot to offer to the European market, and we will be ready to work together with the management of Sokolow on this.

The management of Sokolow commented that the company will benefit from the new ownership structure, to the benefit of the company’s shareholders.

The transaction is subject to clearance by the authorities. Also, Danish Crown and HK has announced that the establishment of majority will be subject to limitations on the share prices.

In relation to the joint-venture, Danish Crown intends to acquire a 10% share in HK Ruokatalo. Danish Crown has no intention to increase is ownership beyond this level.

Further information from:
HK Ruokatalo: Mr. Simo Palokangas, CEO - tel. +358 400 521 697
Danish Crown: Mr Kjeld Johannesen, CEO – tel. +45 40 19 15 55

Facts about HK Ruokatalo Oyj

HK Ruokatalo is a limited company listed on the stock exchange OMHEX in Helsinki. The company is controlled by 7,000 Finnish farmers through the cooperative holding company LSO Osuuskunta.

The company is one of the two leading meat companies in Finland, with significant activities in the poultry and pig meat sector and also in the beef sector. The company has strong brands, and its product range is characterised by a highly processed consumer products.

Besides a strong position at the Finnish market, HK Ruokatalo has a significant position also in the Baltic countries through its local subsidiaries in these countries.

Reference is made to the web-site www.hk-ruokatalo.fi.

Facts about Danish Crown

Danish Crown is a cooperatively owned meat group, owned by 20,000 Danish farmers.

The company, which includes a number of subsidiaries such as Tulip and Plumrose, is engaged in slaughtering of pigs and beef, meat processing as well as other related activities.

The group is the world’s largest exporter of meat, and the leading meat company in Europe, with production facilities in a number of countries outside Denmark. The company supply fresh and processed meat throughout the world.

Reference is made to the web-site www.danishcrown.dk

Facts about Sokolow S.A.

Sokolow is a company listed on the Warsaw stock exchange, and is regarded as Poland’s strongest company within the pig meat and beef sector. The company was created through a number of mergers and restructurings since the early 90ties, and has in the same period undertaken a heavy investment programme.

The company is involved in the supply of meat animals mainly through cooperation with Polish farmers, and is vertically integrated through the slaughter, cutting and processing sectors. Also, the company is involved in product distribution at the Polish market.

The company is well know for it strong brands and quality products. Sales have so far mainly been in Poland, but export is rapidly increasing.


Source: Danish Crown - 6th August 2004

5m Editor