Frozen bakery products: Vandemoortele acquires LAG

Ghent / BE. (vg) LAG, the market leader in frozen focaccia and bread in Italy, will be acquired by Vandemoortele, a leading player in European frozen bakery products. After the acquisition of Agritech by Lanterna in 2012, the combined entity was renamed LAG and embarked upon a growth path. With this acquisition, Vandemoortele Group strengthens its bakery products business in Italy and extends its product range with typical Italian products such as focaccia and ciabatta. Paolo Soldateschi of LAG comments: «Vandemoortele is a strategic partner to strengthen our growth plans for Italy and we are also excited by the prospect to export our authentic focaccia from Genoa across Europe and the world». «We are impressed by the passion for the product and by the strong performance of LAG in the Italian market. We see clear opportunities for further growth», adds Jules Noten, CEO of Vandemoortele. LAG employs around 300 people with production operations in Genoa, Ravenna and Padua and an annual turnover of 87 million Euro in 2013. Vandemoortele employs 29 people in its Milan office in Italy and 4’700 people across the group with an annual turnover of around 1,3 billion Euro in 2013. Parties confirm that the closing of the transaction is scheduled at the end of January 2015. LAG ownership is currently shared by its management and private equity funds Yarpa and LBO France. Jean Vandemoortele, Chairman of Vandemoortele: «This acquisition is fully in line with the growth strategy of Vandemoortele and comes on top of our investments in new factories in Lyon and Poland, as previously announced». Vandemoortele considers the issuance of a new retail bond as part of its financing of this growth plan.