Groupe DANONE has reached an agreement for the sale to Heinz of its sauce business represented by HP Foods in the UK and Lea & Perrins in the US.
The agreement provides for Heinz to be granted a license for the use of the Amoy brand in Europe. Amoy is a trade- mark of Danone Asia.
In 2004, HP Foods and Lea & Perrins posted sales of approximately 240 million euros.
With their flagship HP Foods and Lea & Perrins brands, the two companies form a key player in the sauce market in both the UK and North America, with substantial positions in Worcester sauces and Brown brown sauces.
The HP Foods and Lea & Perrins brands also benefit from a high international profile, with a presence in over 75 countries.
In addition to its sauce business, HP Foods is involved in the importation of ethnic foods, mainly from China and India, and sold respectively under the Amoy brand and the Rajah brand.
The transaction represents an amount of approximatively 700 million euros and Groupe DANONE will record a capital gain of over eur 450 million on 2005 accounts.
It remains subject to relevant authorizations, procedures and regulatory approvals.
The sale will mark the completion of the process of refocusing Group operations on the three strategic businesses in which it is leader or co-leader on world markets-Fresh Dairy Products, Beverages (bottled water in particular) and Biscuits.