MONTERREY, Mexico – Officials with Sigma Alimentos, S.A. de C.V., a subsidiary of ALFA, S.A.B. de C.V., announced on Nov. 14 it had tendered an offer to acquire Madrid, Spain-based Campofrio Food Group for €6.80 (US $9.14) per share, or an equity value of €675 million (US $908 million). Campofrio makes cured hams, hot dogs and packaged pizzas, and has 25 plants in eight countries throughout Europe and in the US. The publicly listed Campofrio is regarded as Europe’s largest processed meats company, with sales of €1,916 million (US$2,577 million) for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2013. The offer will become official pending approval by Spain’s Comision Nacional del Mercado de Valores. According to a press release, Sigma will fund the potential acquisition through a fully committed term loan.

With China’s Shuanghui International Holdings as a major shareholder of Campofrio, by virtue of its acquisition of Smithfield Foods earlier this year, analysts speculate a higher bid may be required to move the deal forward.

Sigma has already signed purchase agreements with certain Campofrio shareholders representing approximately 46 percent of its outstanding equity. Pedro Ballve, a member of Campofrio’s founding family, is co-investing with Sigma in the new venture as a shareholder and chairman of the board.
The offer for Campofrio represents the company’s first attempt to acquire a European processing firm after making several significant acquisitions in Mexico and in the US. In 2010, Sigma acquired Phoenix-based Bar-S Foods (to read about Sigma’s growth in the US, read Meat&Poultry’s coverage earlier this year: ( http://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/mp/2013_04_01/index.php#/18/OnePage).

"The acquisition of Campofrio represents a unique opportunity to enter the European market with leadership positions, strong brands and a highly qualified management team,” said Mario Paez, CEO of Sigma. “We expect to build on the great platform that the Company’s management, led by Pedro Ballve, has already established. We will work together to take Campofrio to even higher levels of customer satisfaction, personnel development, growth and profitability,” he added.

Pedro Ballve, Campofrio’s chairman of the board said: “I am very excited about the strategic partnership between these great organizations and confident this venture further solidifies Campofrio’s long term prospects for all stakeholders.”