Belgium's Lotus Bakeries acquires sector peer

BRUSSELS Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:51am EST

BRUSSELS Jan 31 (Reuters) - Belgian biscuit maker Lotus Bakeries will buy sector peer Biscuiterie Willems to grow production capacity of its trademark caramelised 'speculoos' biscuits, the group announced on Thursday.

"Acquiring Biscuiterie Willems enables Lotus Bakeries to grow in the catering and foodservice segments, in which Biscuiterie Willems has a strong base, both inside and outside Europe," the group said in a statement.

Biscuiterie Willems has a turnover of 23 million euros ($31.2 million) and a recurring core profit margin of about 21 percent, Lotus said.

The group said that the price paid for Biscuiterie Willems was based on an enterprise value of approximately 6.5 times the recurrent operating cash flow. ($1 = 0.7367 euros) (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek)