According to a source from French magazine Challenges, MHP estimated that it would take €150 million (m) to restore Doux Group to a sustainable level of operation, with the Ukraine poultry processor hoping to obtain €70m in aid from the French government to do so.
Galyna Polyanytsya, an official spokesperson with MHP, neither confirmed, nor denied information about the company’s plans to acquire Doux Group to GlobalMeatNews.
Doux Group has accumulated losses of some €35m over the past two years, as the company has faced strong competition from Brazilian chicken in Saudi Arabia, its top priority market, according to information posted on the Doux Group website.
Victoria Kapelyushnaya, CFO of MHP, earlier reported that the company would keep searching for new assets in Europe, as part of the agricultural holding’s global strategy to step outside Ukraine and further increase export sales of broilers.
In 2017, MHP generated revenue of some $732m from its export operations, up 57% compared to the previous year, the company said in a statement on 7 March. The foreign sales pushed the business’ overall revenue up by 13% to $1.28bn and increased net profit by more than threefold to $230m, the company revealed.
MHP has yet to disclose further details on its export operations in 2017, although it has already said that its main growth last year came from sales to the European Union (EU), as well as the Middle East and North Africa region. In total, the Ukraine poultry processor exported 221,000 tonnes of poultry in 2017, 16% up on the previous year.
Third European plant
In Europe, MHP already owns two poultry processing plants in Slovakia and the Netherlands. Speaking in late 2017, MHP director investor relations and international communication Anastasia Sobotuyk revealed that the company was seeking to acquire a third asset in the EU.
MHP was interested in buying a small processing plant that could handle semi-finished Ukraine chicken products for the European market, Sobotuyk said. The company’s plants in Slovakia and the Netherlands were operating in a similar way, importing poultry from Ukraine for further processing, she added.
MHP had been in negotiations to acquire Poland poultry processor Exdrob, through its Cyprus-based subsidiary Roftan Holding, and filed an application to acquire Exdrob to the antimonopoly body of Poland in September 2017. However, in late 2017, Exdrob reported that Roftan Holding had withdrawn from negotiations “based on commercial grounds”.
Aside from Poland and France, MHP has also been in negotiations to buy poultry plants in Germany and the UK, according to the company’s owner Yuri Kosyuk. In general, the company could be interested in acquiring more than one plant in EU, Kosyuk stressed, since Europe was a “very good and very large customer”.