Nomad Foods secures access to southern European markets with €615 million purchase of Fortenova Frozen

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Nomad Foods, parent of the Birds Eye, Iglo and Findus brands, announced on Thursday that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Fortenova Group’s frozen food business for a purchase price of approximately €615 million.

Fortenova Frozen is a leading European frozen food portfolio operating in markets new to Nomad Foods, including Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovenia, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Montenegro.

Its two anchor brands, Ledo and Frikom, have strong consumer awareness and #1 market share in many of these markets and offer a broad range of frozen food products including fish, fruits, vegetables, ready meals, pastry and ice cream.

Frikom was initially established in Belgrade in 1975 as a joint venture with Unilever. Ledo is the largest manufacturer of mass-produced ice-cream and the largest distributor of frozen foods in Croatia. It had been a part of Agrokor, the precursor to Fortenova Group, since 1994. Euromonitor International says Ledo trades in 10 food sectors in Hungary, with small percentage market shares in each of them.

Based in Feltham, West London, Nomad Foods is Europe’s leading frozen food company and one of the largest in the world. Nomad Holdings was formed in 2014, and acquired Iglo and Birds Eye, followed by the Findus Group’s continental European business, in 2015.

In a press release accompanying the announcement, Stefan Descheemaeker, Nomad Foods’ Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are delighted to complete this acquisition and are eager to welcome the team to Nomad Foods. Fortenova Frozen has performed well in 2021 and we expect the strength of our combined organizations to create value for years to come, building on a solid foundation underpinned by market leading brands, operational excellence and a strategic focus in frozen food.”

“We are adapting to the post-pandemic environment while navigating macro challenges facing the broader packaged food sector. With nine months of the year now complete, the profitability of our base business is tracking at the high end of our guidance range despite the anniversary of elevated demand resulting from COVID-19, the re-opening of Europe, a dynamic inflationary backdrop and supply & logistics constraints.”

“While we now expect a modest organic revenue decline versus the prior year, due in large part to normalizing category trends, growth is still expected to be in the mid-single digit range on a two-year compounded basis. Our brands are in strong health, our market share is expanding, and we are well positioned to sustain long-term growth.”