July 15, 2008 / 2:28 PM / 10 years ago

Germany's Nordzucker buys Danisco's sugar business

HAMBURG, July 15 (Reuters) - Germany’s second largest sugar refiner Nordzucker has bought the sugar business of Danish food group Danisco DCO.CO, Nordzucker said on Tuesday.

The deal will cost around 750 million euros, Danisco said. The deal requires approval from competition authorities and Danisco shareholders.

Nordzucker was the sole bidder for Danisco’s sugar activities, put on the market earlier this year after French company Tereos withdrew from the bidding.

“With Danisco Sugar we will receive a partner in an excellent state which will strengthen our business from day one,” Nordzucker CEO Hans-Gerd Birlenberg said in a statement.

The Danish sugar activities purchased by Nordzucker had a turnover in the business year ending on April 30 of almost 940 million euros and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) before special factors of 60 million euros.

In its 2007/08 financial year, Nordzucker posted sales of 1.3 billion euros and an EBIT of 110 million euros.

Along with the purchase price Danisco will receive a further 80 million euros for transfer of its European Union sugar production quotas.

The takeover should be completed inside six months.

Nordzucker is owned by north German sugar farmers and has been seeking a strategy to expand in the face of EU moves to cut subsidies paid to its highly-regulated sugar market.

Nordzucker has also diversified into bioethanol production. (Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Editing by Peter Blackburn)

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