Under the proposed deal, France’s Bel Group would take a majority interest in MOM, with MOM’s current management remaining as a shareholder.
The MOM Group, majority owned by LBO France since 2010, includes the Materne and Mont Blanc brands sold in France. Also, the MOM Group created the fruit squeezers category with its Pom’Potes and GoGosqueeZ brands in France and the US.
‘Flagship French company’ in global snack food sector
Antoine Fiévet, Fromageries Bel chairman and CEO, said that the deal is an opportunity for Bel to accelerate becoming a major global player in single-serving healthy snack portions, in step with the Group’s strategic ambitions.
Robert Daussun, LBO France CEO, said, “It’s a financial, strategic and economic slam-dunk. The French leader five years ago has become an international player and can now legitimately aim to become a global leader.
“We gave MOM the means to develop in the US, and the choice that we have made today to couple it with a global player in the cheese industry is a decisive strategic step. MOM will have the human resources and the local avenues needed to accelerate its growth, with the new group becoming the flagship French company in the global snack food sector.”
Michel Larroche, MOM Group CEO, said that the partnership with Bel offers an opportunity to accelerate the growth of its fruit and dairy snack brands, by leaning on the Bel Group’s international reach.
“Our partnership with Bel will help create a French headquartered, healthy snack-food company that will be uniquely positioned and supported by international brands,” Larroche said.
Subject to approval
The deal will be submitted to both companies’ labor-representation bodies for consultation and to the relevant competition authorities for approval. It will also be subject to the usual closing conditions, with a view to completing the transaction by the end of 2016.
The acquisition will be financed by Bel’s existing financial resources and by issuing additional debt.
With brands including The Laughing Cow, Kiri, Mini Babybel, Leerdammer, and Boursin, Bel is the world leader in single-serving cheese portions.
Over the past five years, MOM has doubled in size, achieving sales of €362m ($405m) in 2015. The company employs 1,300 people and owns four production sites; two in France and two in the US.