HKScan CEO Latvanen told this site that HKScan’s senior management “has received information that must be investigated”. Reasons for the investigation remain unclear and Latvanen declined to comment.
However, some of HKScan’s Baltic management team have been temporarily suspended while the probe gets underway.
It is set to last between two to three weeks and was actioned to ensure its Baltic arm follows the company’s principles of good corporate governance, as well as the meat processor’s code of conduct.
HKScan Baltic business, in numbers:
Net sales: €176.3m
Pre-tax profit: €5.4m
When pressed for information on the investigation, Latvanen said only: “The most important thing is that the investigation is conducted with precision and without disturbance.”
Chief marketing officer Anne Mere has been named interim general manager of HKScan’s Baltic business. She will report directly to new CEO Jari Latvanen.
Latvanen has already made swift changes since joining the business on 31 October 2016. Early on ex-Unilever managing director Jyrki Karlsson was named executive vice-president, replacing previous incumbent Samuli Eskola. There has also been talk about the business needing to optimise its cost structure after reporting a €9m drop in year-on-year Q3 sales this month.
Investigation ‘will not’ hurt business
On the investigation at hand, Jari said in a statement: “It is important for us at HKScan that we always follow the principles of good governance and our code of conduct. We have initiated the investigation to ensure this. The continuity of our operations is guaranteed by an experienced team and the investigation will not affect our business.”
HKScan has been operating in the Baltics since 1998 and its business spans across Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, employing 1,700 staff. Unlike its work in core market Scandinavia, it operates a fully-integrated farm-to-fork system in the Baltics, where it owns the farms, produces animal feed and slaughters pigs to manufacture processed pork products.
It operates five brands in the Baltics: Rakvere, Tallegg, Rīgas Miesnieks, Jelgava and Klaipedos Maistas.
The investigation continues.