AUSTRALIA- Malteries Soufflet, a subsidiary of the leading European agricultural group InVivo Group, has announced that it has made a non-binding, indicative, and conditional proposal to acquire United Malt Group Limited (UMG).
Malteries Soufflet intends to acquire all the shares of United Malt for US$3.34 cash per share. The Proposal represents a 45.3% premium to the last closing price of United Malt shares on the ASX of US$2.29 (as of 24 March 2023).
According to a report by Reuters, the deal is estimated to be worth US$998 million.
Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) United Malt Group is the world’s fourth-largest commercial maltster, with processing plants in Canada, the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, producing bulk malt for brewers, craft brewers, distillers, and food companies.
The maltster produces around 1.25 million tonnes of malt annually from its 12 processing plants globally while Malteries Soufflet runs a total of 28 malthouses in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and has an annual malt production capacity of 2.36Mt.
If successful, the Malteries Soufflet acquisition will create the world’s largest maltster.
“Today’s announcement is completely in line with the strategic approach we designed for Malteries Soufflet in 2021 with our strategic partners, KKR, Bpifrance, and Crédit Agricole Group,” Thierry Blandinières, Chairman of Malteries Soufflet and CEO of InVivo Group commented.
“The acquisition of United Malt is a unique opportunity to reinforce our presence in the high-value craft beer market, expand our geographical footprint to new strategic markets, and accelerate our ambitious strategy in the malt sector,” he added.
Earlier this year, Malteries Soufflet acquired Castle Malting in Belgium in a bid to expand its presence in the high-value-added craft beer market and build a platform to supply craft and industrial brewers and distillers worldwide.
The UMG acquisition will be an extra step toward achieving this goal.
The acquisition of the United Malt is subject to further due diligence, agreeing and executing final binding documentation, prior authorizations from the relevant regulatory authorities, and court approval and approval by the United Malt’s shareholders.
The Directors of United Malt intend to unanimously recommend that United Malt shareholders vote in favor of the Proposal and the deal will probably be finalized soon.