Raisio / FI. (rg) Finland’s Raisio Group will acquire Verso Food Oy, known for its «Beanit» and «Härkis» products. The fava bean products, which have achieved a market leading position in Finland, and Verso Food’s expertise support the key growth targets of Raisio Group.
Raisio PLC, together with Kavli Holding AS and Kavli Oy have on 01 April signed an agreement, under which Raisio will acquire the entire share capital of Verso Food Oy from Kavli. The debt-free purchase price is EUR 7 million in cash and 1 million shares of Raisio’s V-shares, currently owned by Raisio. The portion to be paid in shares will be implemented as a directed share issue. The terms and conditions and other more detailed information related to the share issue can be found in Raisio’s stock exchange release, that was published on 01 April 2021. The transaction does not require approval from the competition authorities.
Verso Food was founded in 2010 and is known for its fava bean products. Its sales have grown strongly in recent years. In 2020, Verso Food’s net sales increased almost 20 percent to approximately EUR 8 million. Due to large investments and strong sales efforts, Verso Food’s business is still unprofitable. Verso Food ended the year 2019 with a loss of ca. EUR 3.6 million and the year 2020 with a loss of ca. EUR 4.5 million. Raisio has been preparing a comprehensive value creation and integration plan, to ensure both the continuation of rapid growth and also the improvement in profitability. Verso Food employs some 30 food industry professionals, who will be transferred to Raisio Group as old employees following the acquisition.
Plant-based value-added products are at the heart of the strategy
«The acquisition we are announcing is an excellent fit for Raisio’s strategy. One of our key strategic targets is growth built on plant-based value-added products. With Verso Food, we will achieve leadership in the rapidly growing plant-based protein market in Finland,» says President and CEO of Raisio, Pekka Kuusniemi. «Through the acquisition, we will also gain production technology that complements our strategic capabilities as well as product development and marketing expertise. I would like to warmly welcome our new colleagues to the Raisio family,» Kuusniemi continues.
«Like Raisio, Verso Food targets growth in the international market. In recent years, we have invested heavily into expanding the success story of plant protein-based foods to international markets, as well. By joining forces with Raisio, we are significantly stronger and better positioned to accelerate our international expansion. Together, we are more than the sum of parts,» says Verso Food’s CEO Tomi Järvenpää.
«In line with Kavli’s revised strategy we will focus on plant-based products, but within our core categories. We sincerely believe that Raisio is a great new owner for Verso Food and will help the company to grow both in Finland and outside of Finland,» says Kenneth Hamnes, Group CEO of Kavli Holding AS.
Verso Food Oy will be included in Raisio’s financial figures as of 01 April 2021. Approximately 80 percent of the company’s sales come from consumer products, so it will be reported as part of Raisio’s Healthy Food segment. 20 percent of Verso Food’s sales are HoReCa and industrial sales, which are planned to be reported in the Healthy Ingredients segment.
The acquisition will not affect Raisio’s guidance for 2021. The company still estimates that Raisio’s net sales will grow in 2021 from the level of the comparison period (net sales in 2020: EUR 233.6 million) and that the costs accrued as a result of our front-loaded growth investments will put pressure on our profitability in 2021 compared to the 2020.
Raisio is currently updating its strategy for the period 2022 to 2025. The company will announce its updated strategy in more detail at the Capital Markets Day scheduled for the latter part of the first half of 2021. The covid-19 pandemic might affect the time schedule and other details on announcing the updated strategy. On that occasion, Raisio will also share more information about the role that the new production facility under construction in the company’s industrial area in Raisio, Finland will have in the company’s strategy.