EUROPE – Finnish fast-moving consumer goods company, Fazer Group has agreed to sell its Fazer Food Services business to British foodservice company Compass Group for an enterprise value of approximately €475 million (US$538 million).

The transaction which is subject to EU Commission competition approval is expected to further enhance Compass Group’s position in the Nordic market.

On the other hand, Fazer Food Services will be able to invest in its business opportunities and better leverage its full potential in catering services.

Fazer Group is looking to concentrate on executing its strategy, invest in both organic and M&A growth, while focusing on its fast-moving consumer goods business.

The agreement includes licence to sell the Fazer Food & Co brand and concept in Finland for 3 years, with a joint financial interest in the continued success of Fazer Food Services’ and Compass Group PLC’s businesses in Finland.

“We see interesting growth opportunities in all of Fazer Group’s businesses – each with their specific investment requirements – and, therefore, we have decided to streamline the business portfolio to enable focus in capturing these opportunities,” said Christoph Vitzthum, President & CEO of Fazer Group.

“We are extremely pleased to have Compass Group PLC as a potential new owner for Fazer Food Services.

“Fazer Food Services can start a new phase in its journey with even stronger support to grow and further improve its business.

“Fazer Group will use the funds from the sale of Fazer Food Services to invest in Fazer Group’s growth strategy.”

Fazer Food Services currently has operations in Sweden, Denmark and Norway as well as a production kitchen in Estonia and had revenues of 600 million euros last year.

Its objective is to grow in Northern Europe and beyond with desirable, meaningful branded food experiences in growing categories.

The transaction would include all of the food services’ division workers, approximately 7,000.

“Fazer Food Services is a highly regarded food service business in the Nordic region, and like Compass Group PLC, is focused on high-quality food, culinary innovation, sustainability and great customer service,” said Dominic Blakemore, CEO of Compass Group.

“I am excited that, together with our existing colleagues in the region, we will be able to further enhance our customer proposition in the Nordic market.”

Compass Group PLC is a global foodservice provider with revenues of around €26 billion, operates in around 45 countries, employs 600,000 people and serves over 5.5 billion meals a year.