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Orkla ups chocolate game in the Baltics with Laima buy

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By Oliver Nieburg+

Last updated on 27-Aug-2014 at 15:05 GMT

Laima has a 30% share of the Latvian chocolate market
Laima has a 30% share of the Latvian chocolate market

Norwegian group Orkla has acquired Latvian company NP Foods Group and its Laima chocolate brand.

Orkla yesterday acquired all shares in NP Foods Group from Nordic Partners Food Limited in a move it said would boost its presence in the Baltic biscuits, cakes, juice, water and ready meal markets. Financial details were not disclosed. 

The deal included chocolate brand Laima, which commands 30% of the Latvian chocolate market, and a number of other brands - Selga, Staburadze, Gutta, Everest, Fresh Walk and Pedro.

The Latvian chocolate confectionery market was worth $102.6m in retail value sales in 2013, according to Euromonitor International, and is expected to grow 18.7% up to 2019 to reach $123m.

Building Baltic strength

“The newly acquired companies are a good strategic fit for Orkla, and will strengthen our position as the leading consumer goods company in the region,” said Christer Åberg, CEO of Orkla Confectionery & Snacks.

Orkla is already present in confectionery in the Baltic region with its Kalev chocolate brand in Estonia, which it acquired in 2010. It also sells ready meals and condiments in the region with brands such as Spilva and Suslavičius-Felix.

Laima export presence: Laima is exported to over 25 countries including China and Brazil. Source: Laima

NP Foods

NP Foods recorded €77.1m ($102m) sales in 2013 and operating profit of €7.5m ($9.9m). The company employs 1,100 people across four factories in Latvia and one in Lithuania.

Orkla’s deal for the firm remains subject to approval from competition authorities in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

Last year, Orkla reorganized its confectionery and snacks business and appointed the former head of Arla Foods in Sweden Christer Åberg to lead the division. Orkla’s other confectionery brands include Finnish licorice business Panda and Norwegian chocolate brand Nidar.

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