EUROPE – Norwegian branded consumer goods company, Orkla has announced two acquisitions in Portugal and Sweden to expand its portfolio of organic and health-focused products.

Orkla has completed an agreement to buy a 43.5% stake in the Portuguese company Asteriscos e Reticências, S.A. which produces fermented tea-based health drinks sold in Europe under Captain Kombucha brand.

The Captain Kombucha brand is made from black or green tea and is said to contain no preservatives, artificial sweeteners or artificial flavours.

The acquisition expands Orkla’s capabilities in providing customers with organic, vegan and gluten-free products that align to the health and wellbeing trends in the market.

“In investing in the Captain Kombucha brand we are putting our money on a new and increasingly popular product.

The probiotics and organic acids have a positive effect on gut health, which is one of Orkla’s priority areas,” said Orkla EVP and Orkla Foods International CEO Johan Wilhelmsson.

Meanwhile, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Orkla Foods Sverige, Orkla has also said that it has acquired Sweden-based manufacturer of frozen and chilled vegan and vegetarian dishes, Lecora for an undisclosed sum.

The company offers schnitzel meat products as well as ready meals and according to Orkla, the deal expands in out-of-home sector, which is its largest customer group ahead of grocery trade.

Founded in 1963, Lecora a family-owned company with 35 employees with one factory in Vadstena, Sweden.

“Orkla holds a leading position in the Swedish grocery trade, in numerous food categories.

With the purchase of Lecora we are strengthening our out-of-home business and expanding our portfolio of organic, vegan and vegetarian food products,” commented Henrik Julin, CEO of Orkla Food Sverige on Lecora buy.

“Lecora’s sustainability work and use of local ingredients make our ambitions for sustainability even greater.

“Lecora is a strong brand that we will develop further, and we value its local approach and the trust customers and consumers have in their products.”

Captain Kombucha is said to have registered a turnover of US$3.48 million (EUR 3.1 million) in 2018 from US$1.01 million in the start-up year 2017.

Lecora on the other hand had a turnover of US$10.25 million (NOK 88.2 million) and EBIT of US$ 628,036.20 (NOK 5.4 million), with strong contribution from Sweden plus some export sales to the EU.

The company had a turnover of SEK 95.9 million (approx. NOK 88.2 million) in 2018, and EBIT of SEK 5.9 million (approx. NOK 5.4 million). The turnover is primarily generated in Sweden, but the company also has some export sales to the EU.

As per the terms of the agreement, the acquisitions will take effect from 1 April 2019.