German firm buys Latvijas Piens dairy company

Germany’s Fude + Serrahn Milchprodukte has bought a 75.1% stake in the Latvian dairy company Latvijas Piens, the company told the press.

Currently 75.1% of Latvijas Piens shares belong to Eximo Agro-Marketing, a subsidiary of Fude + Serrahn Milchprodukte. A further 14.5% is owned by Latraps (the previous majority shareholder) while 8.5% are owned by dairy co-operative Dzese and 1.9% by agricultural co-operative VAKS.

The sum of the deal and the investments have not been disclosed, however a press release says the investments aim at doubling the company's product output.

Fude + Serrahn Milchprodukte has worked out an investment plan aimed at ensuring the Latvian dairy company’s development. Eximo Agro-Marketing will put the plan in motion this year.

Latvijas Piens also elected a new board. It is chaired by Janis Vaivods, long-standing head of Eximo Agro-Marketing in the Baltic states as well as Janis Cipulis, chairman of Eximo Agro-Markting’s German division, and Andreas Serrahn, the owner of Fude + Serrahn Milchprodukte GmbH&Co.

Latvijas Piens is the first by Fude + Serrahn acquisition outside Germany.

Fude + Serrahn Milchprodukte, established in 2001, comprises nine dairy companies in Germany producing industrial dairy products, as well as butter, cheese and yoghurt. The group’s annual turnover is €740 million and it sells 800,000 tons of products a year.

The group’s food wholesaler Eximo Agro-Marketing launched operations in the Baltic states in 2004.

Latvijas Piens is a company founded by Latvian agricultural companies in late 2012. The Latvian state guaranteed a loan of €7.11m for building the company's €14.97m dairy plant. 

However the dairy faced financial difficulties, in part due to the Russian trade embargo, and last year its major shareholder Trikata KS, facing bankruptcy, sold its shares to Latraps. 

According to information from Firmas.lv, Latvijas Piens saw its turnover fall and losses grow in 2015.

The company’s turnover shrank from €28.3 million in 2014 to €11.8 million in 2015, and its annual loss grew from €1.2 million in 2014 to €2.4 million in 2015. The company’s financial results for 2016 are not yet available.

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