Cargill to sell Swiss flour business

by Eric Schroeder
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LUCENS, SWITZERLAND — Groupe Minoteries S.A., a Swiss-based flour milling company, has agreed to acquire the Penthalaz, Switzerland-based flour business of Provimi Kliba S.A. Provimi Kliba is Cargill’s animal nutrition business in Switzerland. Financial terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in early August, were not disclosed.

The acquisition includes the land, buildings, and machinery involved in the flour milling, grain origination and feed production facilities located at sites in Penthalaz and Orbe, Switzerland.

With the acquisition, a new company will be established under the name Grands Moulins de Cossonay Sarl à Penthalaz. Forty-one of Cargill’s employees will be transferred to the new company.

“The sale of our flour business in Penthalaz and decision to invest in the Kaiseraugst and Lucens feed facilities is part of our overall strategy to position our animal nutrition business in Switzerland for growth,” said Richard Sinclair, managing director for Provimi Kliba and Protector S.A. “This sale allows us to exit our non-core flour business and more effectively capitalize on growth opportunities within our animal nutrition business to bring more value to our customers and our employees.”

After the sale is complete, Cargill said it plans to lease the feed production facilities at the Penthalaz plant from Groupe Minoteries S.A. Feed production volumes as well as most positions from Penthalaz will be transitioned to the company’s Kaiseraugst facility and to the Protector S.A. facility in Lucens, Switzerland, over the next 18 months. In addition, the company is investing up to $12 million to expand the capacity and efficiency of these facilities to accommodate the increased volume resulting from the transition.

Groupe Minoteries had income of 5.1 million Swiss francs ($5.3 million) on sales of 129.6 million Swiss francs ($134.8 million) in fiscal 2012. This compared with income of 8 million Swiss francs and sales of 131.8 million Swiss francs in fiscal 2011.
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