Dawn acquiring Unifine business of Royal Cosun

by Josh Sosland
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JACKSON, MICH. — Dawn Food Products, Inc., Jackson, has reached an agreement to acquire the Unifine Food and Bake Ingredients business of Royal Cosun, Breda, The Netherlands.

Unifine operates seven manufacturing plants in Europe and is a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of value-added pastry ingredients. The seven plants as well as 10 sales offices in Europe are included in the transaction, as are the brands of Sucrea, Fruibel, Caullet and Dethmers.

Unifine’s baking products include chocolate, compounds, custard and crèmes, decoration, flavors and colorings, fonds, fruit fillings, gelling agents, pastry/baking mixes and savory products. Unifine also makes products for ice cream makers and food service operators.

Unifine represents an excellent strategic fit for Dawn, which has grown into a major international supplier of bakery products, said

Carrie Jones-Barber, chief executive officer of Dawn Foods.

“The deep commitment to customer service and product quality that Dawn and Unifine share will help ensure the continued success of both organizations,” she said.

Cosun had been investigating the sales of Unifine for the better part of the past year. Explaining the decision in a recent announcement, the company said the division “no longer matches the defined core activities specializing in maximizing the value of agricultural raw materials. Unifine will be better positioned for growth in another constellation than under the Cosun umbrella.”

Robert P. Smith, president and c.e.o. of Royal Cosun, further defined the company’s strategic focus as “the processing of arable crops.”

“Based on the strong growth over the past 10 years and attractive growth prospects, Cosun is confident that Unifine is now ready to take the next step in its evolution as a part of a strategic world player,” he said.

The companies said that the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close before the end of June. The transaction also will require “completion of the consultation procedures with the relevant works councils and trade unions” in compliance with the SER (Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands) Merger Code.

The transaction would not be the first by Royal Cosun in recent years with companies deeply involved in the U.S. grain-based foods industry.

In 2004, Royal Cosun acquired the 39% stake owned by CSM n.v. in its natural alcohol supplier Koninklijke Nedalco. The transaction left Royal Cosun as the sole owner of Koninklijke Nedalco.

In February of 2011, Royal Cosun announced it had reached an agreement to sell the Nedalco alcohol business to Cargill.

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