Bid reported for independent Polish confectionery firm

By Staff Reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Mergers and acquisitions European union Cadbury

Private equity fund Eva Grupe is set to make a bid for Polish confectionery company Mieszko, according to media reports.

The Lithuanian group is said to be seeking clearance from the Polish competition regulator to acquire the confectionery maker.

Mieszko is, along with Jutrzenka and Wawel, one of Poland three biggest independent confectionery manufacturers, with Italian bank UniCredit currently its major shareholder.

All three manufacturers are publicly listed in Warsaw, and analysts have been predicting consolidation around the three for quite some time.

And mergers and acquisitions experts Glenboden predicted earlier this year that the local ramifications of the Kraft takeover of Cadbury as well as the potential sale of Mieszko by its new majority owner UniCredit will likely force consolidation in the fragmented Polish confectionery sector.

Indeed, Leatherhead Food International’s Chris Brockman recently told this publication that he expects further mergers within the Central and Eastern European confectionery markets, as he said there are still a lot of second tier domestic firms in that geography that could provide growth opportunities for some of the multinationals.

Cadbury’s Polish confectionery business, marketed under the Wedel brand, has a dominant position on the Polish confectionery market.

Its divestment is currently underway by Kraft seeking to adhere to the European Commission ruling that it sell Cadbury’s Romanian and Polish operations to allow its takeover of the Dairy Milk market go ahead and not contravene competition legislation.

Among potential buyers for the Wedel business, claim market analysts, are Jutrzenka and Wawel; however it has been stated that their capital might be insufficient for such a purchase, and industry observers say that realistically it is the larger confectioners such as Hershey, Nestle or Ferrero or private equity funds that are in a position to close the deal.

And the acquisition of Wedel, noted analysts, could be a good start for Hershey in Poland where it is yet to establish a presence.

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