Sweet deal for German sugar refiner Nordzucker

Danish food group Danisco announced Monday it had agreed to sell its sugar division to German sugar refiner Nordzucker AG for 5.6 million kroner (€750 million, $1.2 billion).

Sweet deal for German sugar refiner Nordzucker
Photo: DPA

The group, a specialist in food ingredients, enzymes and bio-products, said in a statement that the sale represented “the final step towards its transformation into a focused, bio-based, market-driven ingredients provider.”

Danisco will receive an additional 600 million kroner in cash for the earlier sale of its EU quota from 2007/8. The group said it had also concluded agreements with Danish and Swedish beet growers for future harvests.

The deal, which is expected to be complete within six months, is subject to agreement by shareholders at their annual general meeting on August 20.

“The sale of Danisco Sugar represents a positive outcome for our shareholders and another milestone towards a focused ingredients business …” said Chief Executive Officer Tom Knutzen.

Danisco, which decided in March to sell off its sugar division, said it did not expect to record any gain or loss from the divestment.

Hans-Gerd Birlenberg, the CEO of Nordzucker AG, said: “With Danisco Sugar we are gaining a partner which is in excellent all-round shape and which will strengthen our operations from day one. Strategically, the two firms are excellently matched – and culturally we have also discovered that we have a great deal in common.”