Barilla looks to sell German bakery business

by Eric Schroeder
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PARMA, ITALY — Barilla Holding S.p.A. announced its intent to sell Lieken AG, a Dusseldorf, Germany-based maker of bread and bakery products for distribution to supermarkets and retailers in Germany.

“Lieken is mainly a private label bread business, an area that does not fall within Barilla’s long-term core strategy,” said Guido Barilla, chairman of the Barilla Group. “Going forward, Barilla wants to focus on growing its pasta, sauces and ready meals businesses worldwide — from the Americas to the Far East — while strengthening its bakery business in Italy and other key European branded markets.”

Barilla acquired Lieken in 2002 as part of its acquisition of Kamps. The company offers toast and sandwich bread, savory and sweet bread, rolls, ciabatta, sweet pastries, and baguettes under the Golden Toast brand; and sliced bread, whole loaves, and cakes under the Lieken Urkorn brand. It also sells private label bakery goods for supermarkets and other food retail outlets. Lieken had net sales of €756 million ($956 million) in 2011.

Barilla has appointed British bank Rothschild and Dutch lender Rabobank to find potential suitors.

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