Prospective CEO calls for M&A drive to push Parmalat into global dairy top-5

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Parmalat Italy

A leading businessman, tipped to become Parmalat’s interim CEO, has advocated an aggressive expansion strategy but a Nomura analyst cast doubt on the M&A prospects of the Italian dairy firm.

The company should consider further acquisitions as part of its goal to become one of the top five largest dairy companies, according to Massimo Rossi, a former head of Swedish Match who is being tipped by some to become interim CEO.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Rossi said the the Italian dairy giant could climb from 12th place in the global dairy pecking order to the top-five within five years.

Rossi said Parmalat should pursue acquisitions to achieve this goal but would not be drawn into identifying potential targets. He did however point in the direction of emerging markets, saying there may be opportunities in South America, Africa and Eastern Europe.

No obvious "value-creating" targets

Not everyone is convinced that Parmalat is in a position to go on the acquisition trail. Nomura anlayst David Hayes said in an investor note today that there are “no obvious value-creating outcomes from M&A" for the company."

The note was sent out following the publication of 2010 results that came in above expectation. Parmalat posted an EBITDA of €377m, compared to last year’s €365m figure. The company said this was ahead of its €364m forecast.

However, the company only delivered this result thanks to a €20m insurance settlement, according to Hayes

He said: “With an unlikely repeat in 2011, we remain cautious on 2011 guidance and medium term targets."

Parmalat filed for bankruptcy back in 2003 and has been on the road to recovery since with turnaround specialist Enrico Bondi at the healm.

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