GERMANY – German food processor Dr. Oetker has acquired Imperial, a Belgian specialist in baking and dessert mixes from Spanish group GB Foods for an undisclosed fee, Just food has reported.

The acquisition is envisioned to strengthen Dr. Oetker’s market position in baked goods and dessert mixes in Belgium as GB Foods ‘focus more on strategically important categories’ according to the statement.

According to Just Food, the two companies held talks in the past about a possible acquisition but were not able to reach a deal until 1 March, when the deal was closed.

However, Dr. Oetker did not wish to provide more details on the transaction deal contacted by Just Food nor on its current business presence in Belgium.

The divestment, however, comes four years after the Imperial brand was acquired by GB foods. Meanwhile, GB Foods said it has sold the Imperial brand to “focus more on strategically important categories

Imperial company’s portfolio features pudding mixes, baking flours and powders, and toppings such as caramel sauce

Originating from Belgium in 1928, imperial products were made locally and sold in retail and food service across Europe, including in Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and France.

However, in 2013, Imperial came under the ownership of Continental Foods, a business set up by CVC Capital Partners when it acquired assets from an American processed food and snack company Campbell Soup Co.

Later in 2019, it was acquired by Spain’s GB Foods, an expert in culinary solutions across Europe and Africa with prestigious leading local brands, including Jumbo, Gallina Blanca, Erasco, Gino, Liebig, Star, Bama, D&L, Grand’Italia, and Blå Band.

According to a joint statement from the parties, the acquisition of Imperial is perfectly in line with the growth strategy of Dr. Oetker adding that it is a logical addition to their existing Belgian portfolio.

“With the acquisition of Imperial, we will significantly strengthen our market position in baked goods and dessert mixes,” Dr. Oetker said

Dr. Oetker is a German-French multinational company that produces baking powder, cake mixes, frozen pizza, pudding, cake decorations, cornflakes, and party candles.

Founded by August Oetker in 1891, the family-owned company is headquartered in Bielefeld, Germany. 

Its LinkedIn profile states that Dr. Oetker ranks among the leading food manufacturers in Europe, with 16,000 employees worldwide in more than 40 countries.

The report, however, reveals that GB Foods will retain the Imperial facility in Puurs, Antwerp, post-deal with Dr. Oetker

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