Valeo strikes deal for German maker of marzipan sweets

Acquisition of Schluckwerder is Irish group’s 18th buyout in 10 years

Valeo chief executive Seamus Kearney: “We expect to further grow our European business unit.” Photograph:  Chris Bellew /Fennells

Valeo chief executive Seamus Kearney: “We expect to further grow our European business unit.” Photograph: Chris Bellew /Fennells

 

Valeo Foods, the Dublin-headquartered food group that owns Jacobs biscuits, has gained a foothold in the German market by acquiring Schluckwerder, a confectionery manufacturer famous for its Lübeck marzipan sweets.

The deal adds a further 480 staff spread across three German factories, bringing Valeo’s total headcount to 4,500.

It did not disclose the value of the transaction, but said it would bring the annual sales of its European division to €282 million. Accounts for the 12 months to the end of March 2020 put revenues in this division at €122 million. Valeo said its annualised group revenues, which were about €1.02 billion in its last accounts, would rise to €1.2 billion.

Exports

About a quarter of Schluckwerder’s revenues come from exports outside the German market. The company’s products are tailored towards Christmas and Easter, with marzipan and nougat eggs and breads, pralines and fondant.

It is Valeo’s 18th acquisition since it was set up just over a decade ago by Capvest, a private equity firm whose partners include Cavan dealmaker Seamus Fitzpatrick. Valeo’s chief executive is former Aer Lingus executive, Seamus Kearney.

Valeo’s other brands include Italian biscuit-maker Balconi, Kettle crisps, children’s classic sweets such as Dip Dabs and Fruit Salads, Batchelor’s beans, Chef table sauces and Odlum’s flour.

“Schluckwerder is our first German acquisition and we expect to further grow our European business unit alongside our existing significant platforms in the UK and Ireland,” said Mr Kearney.