2004-10-25

Industri Kapital close to selling Labeyrie Group to SÍF

Industri Kapital (“IK”) announces that it is in advanced discussions with SÍF hf. for the sale of its controlling stake in Financière de Kiel, holding company of the Labeyrie Group (“Labeyrie”) for an enterprise value of €332.3 million. SÍF, the European food producer, is listed on the Reykjavik stock exchange. The envisaged transaction, the largest consumer products acquisition in Icelandic history, would create a new and powerful group of food production companies with a combined turnover of approximately €1 billion and a workforce of 3,900 people in 11 countries.

French based Labeyrie is a European market leader in seafood, blini and spreadable products as well as regional products with strategic positions in France, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Labeyrie, with gross consolidated sales of €311 million and 2,400 employees, is one of the main players in smoked salmon in France, Europe’s largest market. The company’s headquarters are located in St-Geours-de-Maremne in South-West France.

Labeyrie was acquired by the Industri Kapital 2000 Fund in March 2002 through a public-to-private on the Paris stock exchange. Under IK’s ownership, the group has significantly increased its sales both organically and via the acquisitions of Blini (2003) and Farne (UK, 2004).

Christopher Masek, Partner of Industri Kapital comments:

“Under an outstanding management team, Labeyrie has demonstrated its ability to consistently outperform its objectives, in particular seeing its sales nearly double over a two year period. We are delighted to have identified a potential strategic partner for the Group which will allow to further strengthen Labeyrie’s positions under its management team.”

Xavier Govare, CEO of Labeyrie Group comments:

“There are challenging but at the same time exciting times ahead. We at Labeyrie have achieved good results operating the companies we have acquired over the last few years and now we have big plans for the new Group. IK’s support in implementing an active buy-and-build strategy on a pan-European scale, and its experience from prior investments in the food processing industry have contributed to our success over the last few years and we are now well positioned for the future.”

Olafur Olafsson, Chairmain of SÍF says:

“The potential acquisition of Labeyrie Group and the changes being made to SÍF represent a landmark in the company’s history. One could even say that a totally new company would be formed. The acquisition would furthermore secure us the services of a tremendously qualified management team with a great record in acquisitions and enhancing profitability, who will be managing our business in France.”

Jakob Sigurdsson, CEO of SÍF adds:

“The new group would be strong and possess a profitable operation, a solid balance sheet, a clear vision and a strong position in European food production. Renowned brands, strong product development and a broad product selection would be valuable assets in what are extremely competitive markets.”

Completion of the acquisition would require anti-trust consent in France.


IK is advised by:
M&A advisors: Rothschild & Cie (Thierry Latran) and Goldman Sachs
Legal and tax advisors: White & Case (Vincent Morin and Norbert Majerholc)
Vendor’s due diligence accountants: Ernst & Young (Daniel Benquis)

SÍF is advised by:
M&A: Kaupthing Bank
Audit: PriceWaterhouseCoopers
Legal: Clifford Chance

Labeyrie Management is advised by Landwell Paris

For further information, please contact:
INDUSTRI KAPITAL SÍF
Christopher Masek, Industri Kapital: +44 778 756 87 40
Maria Nilsson, Industri Kapital: +46 8 678 95 51, +46 70 378 95 51
Orn Skulafsson, SIF: +354 895 50 80
Catherine Belleret, Labeyrie: +33 5 58 56 73 68

About Industri Kapital
Industri Kapital is a European private equity firm with Nordic roots, managing close to € 4 billion in fund commitments from Nordic, European and international institutional investors. Since 1989, Industri Kapital has acquired 48 European companies. The current portfolio encompasses 26 companies with a total turnover exceeding €9 billion.
IK invests mainly in mid-sized companies with strong cash flow and profit improvement potential, operating in mature industries with fundamental underlying growth. Over the years, IK has developed significant experience within a number of industry sectors, primarily the manufacturing and service industries.
In France, IK's investments include Laho Equipement (2000), the number two construction equipment rental group in France, Groupe Fives-Lille (2001), a leading international engineering group, Labeyrie (2002) and Ceva Sante Animale (2003), a French company providing animal health products and veterinary pharmaceuticals.

About SÍF
SÍF Inc. is one of Iceland’s oldest-established businesses. The company’s history dates back to 1932, when saltfish was one of Iceland’s most important exports. SÍF was founded in order to improve the security of the Icelandic fisheries on foreign markets. Over more than seven decades, however, SÍF has evolved from a business owned by producers into a corporation owned by corporate investors in the international market. SÍF has played a key role in the development of the Icelandic fisheries, and in sales and marketing of seafood products on foreign markets.

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