The Aviko Rixona unit of Steenderen, Netherlands-headquartered Aviko, one of Europe’s largest producers of value-added frozen, chilled and dried potato products and a member of the Royal Cosun agribusiness group, has acquired Unilever’s factory in Stavenhagen, Germany. Venray-based Aviko Rixona specializes in producing potato granules and flakes for industrial further processors and kitchen ready finished products sold in retail and foodservice channels.
The transaction includes the acquisition of the Stavenhagen production facility in Northeast Germany and a long-term strategic partnership with Unilever.
The factory processes potatoes into branded products (mashed potatoes, dumplings, gnocchi and instant snacks) and products for other Unilever branches and B2B customers. Household brand names Pfanni and Knorr will remain Unilever assets.
Approximately 210 people are employed at the Stavenhagen site, many of whom have deep experience in production technologies and techniques.
“Total worldwide demand for potato granules and flakes is constantly increasing and is partly driven by a strong growth in the demand for salty snacks on all five continents,” said Chris Deen, chief executive officer of the Aviko group. “This acquisition ties in seamlessly with Rixona’s ambition to become the world market leader in potato granules and flakes. We intend to fully utilize Stavenhagen’s potential production capacity. The additional volume and extra sales will further strengthen our position and support our ambitious growth trajectory.”
“We are very pleased with this acquisition, which is fully aligned to Cosun’s ambition to obtain a leading position in plant-based ingredients,” said Royal Cosun CEO Albert Markusse. “The expansion of the production capacity and the strategic partnership with Unilever are in line with the positive development of the potato flakes and granules market.”
German competition authorities are now reviewing details regarding the transaction. The deal is expected to be completed before the end of the year.