Hilton agrees to acquire leading international smoked salmon producer, Foppen

 Hilton Food Group (“Hilton”), the international multi-protein food business, is pleased to announce that it has agreed to acquire a leading international smoked salmon producer, Dutch Seafood Company B.V., which trades as “Foppen” (the “Acquisition”), expanding its presence in a growing protein category, as well as entering the US, a new geography for Hilton. 

Hilton has also today launched an equity placing to raise gross proceeds of approximately £75 million to part fund the Acquisition, as announced separately (the “Placing”). 

The announcement follows the recent full acquisition of Dalco, a leading vegan and vegetarian food manufacturer, the acquisition of Fairfax Meadow, as well as Hilton’s expansion into Hilton Seafood, together with several years of sustained growth in seafood and plant-based foods by the business. 

Strategic highlights 

Foppen is an attractive business which is highly complementary to Hilton: 

  • • Smoked salmon diversifies Hilton into a protein category with a strong growth outlook. 
  • • Foppen is focused on added value speciality smoked salmon products (e.g. toast salmon) which offer a differentiated portfolio of products. 
  • • Foppen is expected to significantly enhance Hilton’s customer base through: o a number of new customers in the US, a new strategic market; 
  • o the development of an important existing customer relationship (Albert Heijn in the Netherlands); and 
  • o significant cross-selling opportunities to both Hilton and Foppen’s existing international customer bases. 
  • • Foppen will significantly expand the scale of Hilton’s seafood business with potential to deliver procurement and other savings. 
  • • Foppen brings two well-invested, dedicated smoked salmon facilities in Harderwijk, the Netherlands and Preveza, Greece, and an experienced management team and workforce. 
  • • Foppen stands to benefit from Hilton’s exceptional seafood standards and record, with 98% of all Hilton fisheries certified to the MSC and active membership of the UN Global Compact and its Sustainable Ocean Business Action Platform, as well as governance roles on leading global standards bodies such as the Marin Trust, Global Gap and the Responsible Fishing Vessel Scheme. 

Financial and transaction highlights[1]

  • • Foppen’s FY 2021 ended 31 March 2021 actual revenue of €139.7 million, adjusted underlying EBITDA of €10 million. 
  • • Enterprise value of €90.0 million including adjustments for net debt and net working capital. 
  • • The transaction will be funded through: o equity placing of approximately £75 million, that will predominantly fund the Foppen acquisition and partially refinance the previously announced acquisition of Fairfax Meadow, representing an increase of approximately 8% of the current issued ordinary share capital of the Company, as announced separately. 
  • o balance funded through a committed acquisition bridge facility. 
  • • The transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings per share in the first twelve months for Hilton while ensuring net leverage remains below 2.0x [2]
  • • Completion of the transaction is subject to Dutch competition authority and works council approval. 

Hilton’s CEO, Philip Heffer, commented: 

“The acquisition of Foppen is an exceptional opportunity for Hilton and another step towards our goal of becoming the global protein partner of choice. More and more consumers around the world are seeking affordable, high quality, and sustainable protein, and this acquisition will help Hilton take our offer into new markets and to new global customers for the first time. 

“Foppen’s premium product portfolio and strong customer relationships are a great fit for Hilton’s model, while Hilton’s strong ESG credentials in seafood will make sure our future growth plans are sustainable in every sense of the word. We welcome Foppen’s management and employees and look forward to delivering profitable growth through the combination of Hilton and Foppen.” 

Andre van der Padt, Foppen CEO, added: 

“We are excited by the future prospects of Foppen under Hilton’s ownership and look forward to working with Philip and team. Foppen’s offer to customers, suppliers and employees will be enhanced as part of Hilton Food Group.” 

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