Swiss dairy company Hochdorf sells German flour, vegetable oils business

GERMANY – Hochdorf, Swiss market leader in developing, producing and marketing wholesome foodstuffs and ingredients is seeking to offload its German vegetable oils and flour business, Marbacher Ölmühle, as part of a strategic realignment.

Hochdorf has agreed to sell the business to a German family office company focusing on long-term commitment in the organic food industry.

The sale is said to be motivated by the company’s strategic focus on its baby care and dairy ingredients divisions.

Marbacher Ölmühle produces a range of organic oils including apricot kernel oil, sesame oil, almond oil and hemp oil, as well as a variety of flours such as hemp flour, pumpkin seed flour and peanut flour.

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“We are proud to have found a strategic investor who can positively influence the further development of Marbacher Ölmühle.”

Peter Pfeilschifter – Hochdorf Group CEO

Hochdorf acquired Marbacher Ölmühle back in 2014 as part of its move to strengthen its Viogerm wheat germ business internationally.

Following the discontinuation of its cereals and ingredients division, Hochdorf says the German company has lost strategic importance for the group.

“We are proud to have found a strategic investor who can positively influence the further development of Marbacher Ölmühle,” said Peter Pfeilschifter, Hochdorf Group CEO.

As part of its restructuring efforts which were introduced in 2019, Hochdorf is planning that its Bimbosan infant-formula business will take over a plant formerly producing wheat germ for the Swiss baby-food products firm from the end of January 2021.

The site in the municipality of Hochdorf discontinued production of wheat germ after the company last year switched its focus, a decision accompanied by the sale of a number of assets, including its majority holding in Pharmalys, a subsidiary it acquired in 2016.

The facility will be used for the packaging and shipping of Bimbosan formula and also for additional storage space.

Bimbosan will now shift its headquarters from Welschenrohr to Hochdorf, a move that will result in the loss of ten jobs in production and logistics, with the affected employees to be offered alternative positions within the group.

Bimbosan products will also continue to be manufactured at another plant in Sulgen. Once the transfer has taken place, the plant at Welschenrohr will be sold.

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“Since the volume of production equipment to be moved is not large and we can free up external storage space, we expect annual cost savings of around one million Swiss francs (US$1.1m),” said Dr Peter Pfeilschifter CEO of Hochdorf.

Pfeilschifter became the company’s permanent CEO in January this year having held the role on an interim basis from March 2019 following the departure of Thomas Elsenring.

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