Dutch Impala, Greek Chipita eye southern European meat processors

By Jaroslaw Adamowski

- Last updated on GMT

Impala Invest's takeover of Nikas is estimated to be worth €80m ($85m)
Impala Invest's takeover of Nikas is estimated to be worth €80m ($85m)

Related tags Pork Meat Sausage Beef Poultry

Dutch company Impala Invest BV and Greek food industry player Chipita have formed a partnership to jointly take over an as yet unnamed meat processing company based in southern Europe in order to expand their market presence in the region. 

The plan was announced in a statement by Bella Bulgaria, a Bulgaria-based meat processor owned by Impala Invest.

In addition, by the end of February 2016, Impala Invest is to complete its acquisition of a Bulgarian-based offshoot of Greek meat processor Nikas, which has a portfolio consisting of a wide range of processed pork, beef and poultry meat products, such as salami, hams, sausages and frankfurters, Bella Bulgaria said in a statement.

The takeover of Nikas is estimated to be worth about €80m, while some €20m will be allocated to raise the firm’s capital, according to information obtained by local daily Kathimerini. The Greek meat processor is operated by a workforce of about 500.

Bella Bulgaria claimed it is the country’s largest processed food manufacturer with 14 production sites. The firm said its portfolio included “an extensive range of processed meat products. These include frankfurters, sausages, minced meat, pates, boiled salami, larded salami​” and other products, according to data released by the firm.

Expanded product range

To expand its portfolio, which consists of more than 200 products with new items, Bella Bulgaria said it had decided to create “a series of high-quality meat products with 30% less salt, in accordance with the [standards of the] Bulgarian Institute for Standardization, and from 3% to 50% less fat, in accordance with the BIS​”.

In Bulgaria, the meat industry player said its products were available at some 12,000 retail outlets, and its leading partners included a number of major retail chains, such as Metro, Kaufland, Billa, Lidl, Carrefour, Fantastico, Piccadilly, T-Market, and CBA.

In addition to the domestic market, Bella Bulgaria is also present in a number of foreign markets, and owns trade offices in Romania and Greece. Since 2006, Bella Bulgaria has been exporting its products to the European Union markets and, in 2010, the firm further expanded its market presence to North America, Australia and the Middle East.

The Bulgarian company said its production facilities were IFS, HACCP, ISO 9001 and 22000 certified. Set up in 1992, Bella Bulgaria is based in the country’s capital Sofia. Impala Invest took over the company in 2008.

The planned acquisitions will be enabled by recently secured investment loans, according to the statement.

Chipita said it was one of Greece’s leading food industry players, with some 18 production facilities located in 10 countries. Chipita exports its products to some 65 foreign markets, according to data from the firm.

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