Emmi increases stake in Centrale Laitière de Mahdia, expands presence in Tunisia

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10 Jan 2018 --- Kaiku, an Emmi subsidiary based in San Sebastián (Spain), is increasing its stake in Centrale Laitière de Mahdia SA (Vitalait), based in Mahdia (Tunisia), from 45.4 percent to 54.7 percent. As a result, Emmi, which holds 73.4 percent of shares in Kaiku, will have a 40.2 percent stake in Centrale Laitière de Mahdia SA. In a second step in 2021, the stake will be increased by another 9.34 percent. Strengthening its international presence is part of Emmi’s strategy. Tunisia plays an important role in this as the company’s fourth-largest international market.

Emmi has held a stake in the Kaiku Group since 2006, with the latter holding a stake in Centrale Laitière de Mahdia SA (Vitalait) since 2012. The Tunisian company sells its products under the Vitalait brand. Kaiku’s other main markets are Spain and Chile.
 
An Emmi spokesperson told FoodIngredientsFirst: “Tunisia has not only been relevant for Emmi since this year. Today, Tunisia is our company's fourth-largest foreign market. And the development in the last few years has been extremely positive in various areas. The company has shown a stable two-digit increase in sales every year for the last couple of years.”

“When it comes to the future development of Vitalait, for example, Emmi is interested in the great affinity of consumers for desserts. Cooperation in this area is already well underway and will be intensified,” the spokesperson says.
 
Two-stage increase in stake
Emmi and the other shareholders of Kaiku have decided to increase the stake in Vitalait in two steps of 9.34 percent each, from 45.4 percent to first 54.7 percent and later to 64.0 percent.
 
As a result, Emmi, which holds 73.4 percent of shares in Kaiku, will have a 40.2 percent stake in Centrale Laitière de Mahdia SA after the first step. After the second step, due in the first half of 2021, Emmi's stake will be 47.1 percent.
 
Strong position in Tunisia
Vitalait is the number 2 in dairy products in Tunisia. The company has grown steadily in recent years and has markedly improved its portfolio. Aside from drinking milk, it currently also produces yogurt, yogurt drinks and desserts.
 
The increase in stake underlines Emmi’s and Kaiku’s commitment to the growing Tunisian market. The transactions will not affect Emmi’s EBIT or sales, as Vitalait is already fully consolidated.
 
The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price or any other details of the contract. The transaction is subject to the approval of the Tunisian authorities.

By Elizabeth Green

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