CP Foods Europe Buys Paulsen Food Service in Germany

Charoen Pokphand Foods Europe has acquired 95% of Hamburg, Germany-based Paulsen Food Service in a share purchase and cooperation agreement with Peter Paulsen Import-Export & Company Handels KG valued at $13.74 million.

Paulsen Food Service, founded in 2009, distributes meat to foodservice clients and industrial customers in the European Union. It owns 76 "license companies" that have import licenses to bring meat imports into the EU market.

The purchase follows a similar strategic move made by Bangkok, Thailand-headquartered Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) in April, when the conglomerate bought all shares of Malvern, Worcestershire, England-headquartered Westbridge Foods (valued at £60 million, or $74.9 million) and assumed £7 million in debt obligations.

Westbridge has numerous subsidies that hold import licenses for poultry in European countries including the Netherlands. CP Foods reportedly aims to use these quotas to directly expand poultry exports from Thailand to EU markets. By doing so, according to a recent Nikkei report published by Reuters, “it is believed that the company will bypass any effect of Brexit.”

CPFCP Foods is already quite active in the European market, manufacturing and selling processed foods such as microwavable snacks and appetizers, and operating the Chozen Noodles Asian fast food restaurant chain. The diversified agri-business, ranked as Thailand’s largest food company, is a major producer of livestock, poultry products, fish and farm-raised shrimp.

In a recent statement, Chairman Adirek Sripratak noted that most of Westbridge’s customers are new for CPF and added that the company intends to "expand its distribution network for retail, foodservices and food manufacturers in the UK and the EU countries."

CPF has been especially active on the acquisition trail outside of Asia in the past year. Among its other recent purchases are frozen ready meals and entrée manufacturer Bellisio in the USA and the SuperDrob chicken processor in Poland.