Croatia's Ledo, Serbia's Frikom sold to U.K.'s Nomad Foods

Food

Ledo d.d., Croatia’s largest domestic producer of ice cream, which has a small market share in Hungary, has been acquired by the U.K.-based Nomad Foods, along with Serbia’s Frikom.

The deal forms part of Nomad’s wider acquisition of the Croatian Fortenova Group’s frozen food business for an “aggregate consideration of approximately EUR 615 million on a debt-free, cash free basis,” according to Nomad.

The deal enables Nomad to enter a number of new Central, Eastern and Southeastern European markets, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia. Nomad says the two anchor brands of Fortenova Group's frozen food business, Ledo and Frikom, “have unparalleled consumer awareness and number one market share in many of these markets and offer a broad range of frozen food products including fish, fruits, vegetables, ready meals, pastry and ice cream.”

Frikom was initially established in Belgrade in 1975 as a joint venture with Unilever. Ledo is the largest manufacturer of mass-produced ice-cream and the largest distributor of frozen foods in Croatia. It had been a part of Agrokor, the precursor to Fortenova Group, since 1994. Euromonitor International says Ledo trades in 10 food sectors in Hungary, with small percentage market shares in each of them. It does best in bulk dairy ice cream, where Euromonitor says it has a 4.4% share.

Based in Feltham, West London, Nomad Foods is Europe’s leading frozen food company and one of the largest in the world. Its key brands include Birds Eye (which dates back to 1922), Findus (formed in 1940, but first used as a brand in 1905) and igloo (1956). Nomad Holdings was formed in 2014, and acquired the igloo Group (iglo and Birsdeye), followed by the Findus Group’s continental European business, in 2015.

According to its website, Nomad Foods manufactures, sells and distributes its products across 13 European countries with the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Sweden and France representing its five largest markets. It is NYSE listed, trading under “NOMD”, and has “the long term goal of developing a global portfolio of best in class food brands by growing organically and through strategic M&A.”

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