The Baring Central European Fund (BCEF) announced on Monday that it has sold Topway Foods International, Romania's leading margarine, ketchup, mustard and condiments producer, to Orkla Foods, a subsidiary of the Norwegian diversified multinational Orkla.
Topway's original founder-managers have also sold their stake in the company and the Romanian Competition Council has approved the sale. The name of the company has already been changed to Orkla Foods Romania. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
BCEF originally invested in Topway Industries, Topway Foods International's parent company, in August 1999. The investment financed the group's acquisition and modernisation of edible oil and margarine production facilities and the launch of several new products, including ketchup, mustard and other sauces.
BCEF's managing partner, Gyuri Karady, commented: "Since we invested in Topway in 1999, the group has successfully grown its brands, becoming market leader in several key product categories.
"The exit, the first of two planned by BCEF for 2002, generates an attractive return for our investors. In addition, the two remaining business units are leaders in their respective market segments and as such are attractive acquisition candidates for strategic investors seeking entry into Romania, central Europe's second largest consumer market, or wanting to establish a strong regional platform for exports."