AAK expands U.S. presence, acquires CalOils

by Eric Schroeder
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Palm Kernel Oil from CalOils
CalOils' product line includes a variety of oils, including palm and palm kernel oils.

KARLSHAMN, SWEDEN — AAK has acquired Richmond, Calif.-based California Oils Corp. from Mitsubishi Corp., Tokyo. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

California Oils Corp., also known as CalOils, in 2015 had revenues of approximately SEK 1,350 million ($158 million) and a volume of approximately 110,000 tonnes, with 65 employees. The company’s product line includes a variety of oils, including palm and palm kernel oils, different forms of coconut oil, high-oleic and high-linoleic safflower oils, high-oleic and mid-oleic sunflower oils. The company also specializes in supplying a variety of vegetable oils and their blends to fit customer needs. All CalOils products are kosher certified.

Terrence Thomas, AAK
Terrence W. Thomas, president of AAK USA

“A strong presence on the U.S. West coast has been priority for AAK since several years,” said Terrence W. Thomas, president of AAK USA. “The West coast encompasses 20% of the U.S. population, and this expansion has been identified as an important component of AAK’s long-term growth strategy. The acquisition of CalOils will transform AAK into a true national specialty and semi-specialty edible oils company, improving our ability to serve existing customers on a national scale while at the same time creating new customer opportunities. CalOils has important market positions up and down the West coast. This acquisition establishes AAK as the leading supplier of specialty and semi-specialty oils to the bakery, dairy and chocolate and confectionery industries in California and across the West coast of the U.S. and Canada. In the medium term it also supports our U.S. food service platform, Oasis Foods, to develop into a national supplier.”

With the acquisition of CalOil’s facility in Richmond, AAK now owns four production sites in the United States. The other sites are located in Edison and Port Newark, N.J.; and Louisville, Ky.

Arne Frank, chief executive officer of AAK Group, said the acquisition of CalOil is an “integral part” of the company’s AAKtion program.

Arne Frank, CalOils, AAK
Arne Frank, c.e.o. of AAK Group

“Not only will it strengthen AAK’s presence in a very important market, we will also bring our customer co-development concept to a national level in the United States and Canada,” Mr. Frank said. “The acquisition will serve as a platform for increased sales of specialty and semi-specialty products within food ingredients and chocolate and confectionery fats.”

While a purchase price was not disclosed, AAK said the price is subject to final calculation of normalized working capital and is expected to be less than 3% of the company’s turnover on a cash and debt free basis. The acquisition cost will be funded by existing credit facilities, and the transaction is expected to be finalized between end of August and the end of September 2016.

Headquartered in Malmö, Sweden, AAK has 20 different production facilities, sales offices in more than 25 countries and more than 2,700 employees. 
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