Denmark's Arla Foods drops bid for Egypt's Arab Dairy

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 Dec 2014

Maker of Lurpak and Puck had offered LE65 per share for Egypt cheese-maker acquisition for which Cairo-based Pioneers Holding got regulatory green light

Panda is Arab Dairy's flagship brand (Photo: Arab Dairy)

Denmark-based Arla Foods Amba has dropped a bid to acquire Egypt's Arab Dairy, the cheese-maker announced on Tuesday.

Arla Foods, which owns Lurpak and Puck brands, had offered LE65 per share for the Egyptian cheese-maker.

French dairy producer Lactalis International also offered to acquire Arab Dairy last month, for LE66 per share, while Saudi Arabia's Arrow Food Distribution offered LE57.12 per share.

Pioneers Holding, a Cairo-based financial company with a 25 percent stake in Arab Dairy, started buying the rest of the company's shares at LE56 per share on 30 November, after receiving the regulator's green light on the LE252 million deal.

The acquisition coincides with another bidding war, on Egypt confectionary-maker Bisco Misr, between world's largest cereal maker Kellogg Co. and UAE-based Abraaj Investment Management.

The Egyptian dairy producer posted a net loss of LE24.1 million in its consolidated results for the first nine months of 2014 at a price of LE65per share, compared to a net profit of LE3.4 million in the same period of the previous year.

Founded in 1985, Arab Dairy is the maker of flagship Panda brand cheese, and exports products to neighbouring countries in the Middle East including Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait.

The company's shares were trading for LE68.04 on 24 November, before trading on the stock was suspended.

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