Danish Crown acquires DK-Foods

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

Danish Crown to buy pepperoni producer
The Danish Crown Group has acquired pepperoni giant DK-Foods.

The acquisition, part of Danish Crown’s 4WD strategy, will mean the business has become the European market leader in pepperoni toppings for pizzas.

The acquisition is effective immediately and DK-Foods will operate as a separate business unit under Danish Crown’s subsidiary Tulip Food Company, spearheading the group’s global focus on pizza toppings.

Kasper Lenbroch, CEO at Tulip Food Company, said: “We’re delighted that the deal has fallen into place. In acquiring DK-Foods, we are acquiring a focused and unique company which, since its establishment in 2003, has enjoyed impressive growth.
“At Tulip Food Company, our strategic focus internationally is on four categories: bacon, canned products, snacks and pizza toppings, so we’re looking forward to incorporating a well-run, agile and fast-moving business. The acquisition of DK-Foods represents a giant leap forward when it comes to realising our bold ambitions within a category which is experiencing growth in many markets, and the acquisition will bring us even closer to our pizza customers.”

Danish Crown has been DK-Foods’ preferred supplier of raw materials for several years. In taking over the company from asset management company Maj Invest Equity, Danish Crown is acquiring all shares in DK-Foods, with Per Fischer Larsen and Steffen Ramsgaard remaining on the executive board reporting in to Kasper Lenbroch.

In a joint statement, Larsen and Ramsgaard said: “We’re both delighted and proud that DK-Foods is now becoming a part of the Danish Crown Group, which, like us, has ambitious plans for the pepperoni category. Over the past 15 years, we have evolved from being a niche producer into a very significant market player, and as part of Danish Crown, we see new and great opportunities for continuing this positive growth.

“We will be strengthened through the upstream integration of raw materials and given the group’s ambition of becoming a leading player in the wider toppings category, we’ll become an even stronger partner for both our current and future customers.”

Per Høholt, partner at Maj Invest Equity, added: “We’ve been on a fantastic journey with DK-Foods, and together with the management, we’ve achieved our growth targets far earlier than expected. Thanks to its successful and customer-centric strategy, DK-Foods has won several major customers and seen increased activity levels as a result of existing customers rolling out their products on new markets. This has led to a doubling of production capacity. With the sale to Danish Crown, DK-Foods will benefit from a strong and integrated supply chain, which – based on DK-Foods’ strong market position and focused strategy – will support future growth.”

Tulip Food Company produces a wide range of pizza toppings, including pepperoni, at its factory in Svenstrup south of Aalborg and the acquisition of DK-Foods will increase its production capacity significantly.

Although the clear focus on foodservice and retail markets remains for Tulip, the Svenstrup operation will also establish capacity for production of heat-treated products for the Chinese market.

Jais Valeur, group CEO of Danish Crown, added: “DK-Foods presents an opportunity to intensify our group’s strategic focus on pizza toppings by becoming the market leader in pepperoni. The pizza market is growing globally, and we see considerable potential in DK-Foods. We’ll be able to process a larger proportion of our own raw materials, thereby boosting our growth and earnings potential for the benefit of our owners.”

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