Ebro Puleva to buy German pasta maker

by Eric Schroeder
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MADRID, SPAIN — Ebro Puleva, the world’s largest rice producer and second-largest pasta maker, reached agreement to acquire Birkel Teigwaren Gmbh for €30 million ($41.4 million). Birkel is Germany’s largest pasta manufacturer with approximately 18% share of that market. In addition, the company has a presence in the sauces sector.

In the year ended September 2006, Birkel had sales of €90 million and EBITDA of €4.3 million.

The purchase of Birkel is the third international transaction made within Ebro Puleva’s Strategic Plan 2007-09 and the fourth transaction in the pasta segment in less than two years. In June 2006, Ebro Puleva acquired New World Pasta in the United States.

In addition to Germany, Birkel has significant market share in the Baltic Region and Russia, Ebro Puleva said, giving the company "a foothold on high-growth international markets."

"The incorporation of Birkel considerably strengthens our position on the German food market, in which we are already present through our rice subsidiary Euryza (with its brands Oryza and Reis Fit)," Ebro Puleva said. "The sum of both businesses will contribute a turnover of approximately €160 million to the group’s consolidated earnings."

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