Jun 07, 2006

Lotus Bakeries and Koninklijke Peijnenburg want to join forces

Lotus Bakeries (Lotus) of Lembeke (Belgium) and Koninklijke Peijnenburg BV in Geldrop (The Netherlands) have announced their intention to pool the resources of the two companies. This intention will be realised by Lotus Bakeries acquiring all the shares in Koninklijke Peijnenburg BV. Lotus and Happen Naar BV, the holder of all the shares in Koninklijke Peijnenburg, are conducting exclusive negotiations about the takeover.

After closing of exchange yesterday, this intention was also announced to the works councils of both Lotus Bakeries Nederland and Koninklijke Peijnenburg, because it is the subject of the statutory consultation procedure.

The enterprise value that will be paid as the acquisition price will be approximately seven times EBITDA. The acquisition will be fully financed by an unsecured bank loan to be repaid over seven years.

Koninklijke Peijnenburg, the market leader in the Netherlands in the market for gingerbread products, was founded in 1883 by the Peijnenburg family. There was a management buy-out in 2000, in which Gilde Participaties BV and the company’s management bought the shares from the Peijnenburg family. Peijnenburg’s consolidated net sales, which are realised almost exclusively in the Netherlands, amounted to EUR 46.5 million with an EBITDA of EUR 10 million in 2005.

The Peijnenburg headquarters are located in Geldrop (near Eindhoven, the Netherlands) where part of the production is also manufactured. The second manufacturing unit is established in Sint Johannesga (near Zwolle, the Netherlands). Peijnenburg has a total of 211 employees.

Peijnenburg markets virtually all its products under its own brand names: Peijnenburg and Wieger Ketellapper. Both brands enjoy particularly high reputations. Peijnenburg has a market share of more than 60% of the total market for gingerbread in the Netherlands. Under the influence of Peijnenburg, the gingerbread segment has become significant within the wide biscuits and pastries market and, moreover, is a growing market in the Netherlands. In comparison with Belgium and France, which are two countries that also have a "gingerbread tradition", the per-capita consumption in the Netherlands is up to six times higher. Peijnenburg was already a traditionally important brand in the Netherlands, but has reinforced and expanded this position even further during recent years. Peijnenburg has given gingerbread a modern image by, among other things, investing in the marketing of handy single-piece packages and special products for children.

The intended acquisition of Peijnenburg will be a significant strategic step for the Lotus Bakeries Group. In the Netherlands, Lotus Bakeries is building a strong position as brand manufacturer of specialities. In the Netherlands, the Peijnenburg brand will be retained, supported and further expanded. Lotus Bakeries achieved sales of around EUR 18 million in the Netherlands in 2005, mainly by marketing the following products under the Lotus brand name: The Enkhuizer biscuits, glacé, battenbergs and caramelised biscuits. As mentioned above, Peijnenburg has given “gingerbread” a contemporary image combined with a strong brand policy. This type of approach certainly opens up opportunities for Lotus in other countries, in which Lotus already has its own sales organisation, to introduce this gingerbread concept under the Lotus brand.

The Lotus Bakeries Group wants to reinforce its sustainable growth and profitability by concentrating on authentic specialties in the biscuits and pastries world: caramelised biscuits, waffles, frangipane, Madeleines, Breton butter specialties, Enkhuizer biscuits, galettes, carré confiture, and pastry specialties. Furthermore, Lotus Bakeries wants to pursue a brand policy with products that are distinctive in terms of quality and consumer satisfaction, driven dynamically by a strong commercial organization and effectively targeted marketing campaigns. In this way, Lotus wants to acquire a leading position for its specialties. The intention to acquire Koninklijke Peijnenburg fits perfectly into this strategy of authentic specialties.

At 10.30 a.m. today, a press conference will be held at the headquarters of Lotus Bakeries in Lembeke in order to provide further information about this transaction.

Lotus Bakeries in a nutshell

Lotus Bakeries, with headquarters in Belgium, is a dynamic and internationally-oriented enterprise with manufacturing establishments in Belgium, the Netherlands and France, and its own sales organizations in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany-Austria, the UK, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, the USA, and Singapore. With 960 employees, Lotus Bakeries manufactures and sells high-quality and tasty products under the Lotus brand name. Lotus Bakeries achieved consolidated turnover of EUR 152 million in 2005. The shares of Lotus Bakeries are listed on Euronext Brussels.

Koninklijke Peijnenburg in a nutshell

Koninklijke Peijnenburg BV, with its headquarters in the Netherlands, is a dynamic enterprise that primarily focuses on the Netherlands with manufacturing facilities in Geldrop and Sint Johannesga. With 211 employees, Koninklijke Peijnenburg manufactures and markets a wide range of gingerbread products under its main brand names of Peijnenburg and Wieger Ketellapper.

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