RANDERS – Danish Crown, following a 10-year partnership with the Nordic meat company HKScan Group, plans to take full ownership of Sokolow, the leading processed meat products processor in Poland. Danish Crown is paying $246 million for 50 percent of the shares. The takeover awaits approval of the competition authorities.
“For the past 10 years, we have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with HKScan and have realized fantastic growth in both revenue and earnings,” said Kjeld Johannesen, Group CEO of Danish Crown.
“It is our clear goal to continue this development, and sole ownership is the right step. In this way, Danish Crown will benefit even further from the synergies inherent in having Sokolow as a subsidiary of the Danish Crown group.”
The acquisition of the remaining shares in Sokolow is in line with Danish Crown’s strategy of investing in processing activities, the company reports. Danish Crown is Europe’s leading processed meats business via its DC Foods division. This position will be further strengthened through the full ownership of Sokolow. Sokolow has posted impressive results for many years. In Poland, the company is known as the Coca-Cola of the meat industry. The company’s primary strength is in manufacturing sausages, cold cuts and other processed meat products, however, it is also the largest cattle slaughterhouse business in Poland, and the third-largest pig slaughterhouse business in that country.
“The company is an incredibly strong player in the domestic market, where Sokolow is without doubt the strongest brand and the biggest player within highly processed meat products,” said Flemming Enevoldsen, CEO of DC Foods, Danish Crown’s processing division. “At the same time, the focus on quality is beginning to pay off outside Poland, and in a relatively short space of time, Sokolow has succeeded in building substantial exports, Sokolow has approx. 6,500 employees at seven factories. Over the past 10 years, continuous investments have been made, and the past three years have seen the establishment of both a new cold-cuts facility and a new cattle slaughterhouse.
“Right from the outset, our intention has been to develop Sokolow on all parameters, and today it is a truly modern business,” he added. “At the same time, we have a strong management team which has demonstrated its ability to create organic growth – and there is nothing to suggest that we have reached the top yet.”