Puleva Biotech up for sale?

Related tags Nutrition

Spanish dairy, Ebro Puleva, may sell off its functional foods and ingredients division, Puleva Biotech, as it seeks a cash injection and reduced exposure to low-margin products.

Both Puleva Biotech and its parent made no comment when called by this publication this morning, but refused to deny the speculation.

Puleva Biotech was formed by Ebro Puleva in the early 1990s as the company underwent a makeover that saw it commit to adding value to its dairy offerings with ingredients like omega-3s, some of which it developed in-house and which it sells to other players.

Ebro Puleva turned in a record result for the first half of 2009, with net profits surging 25 per cent to €98m on turnover of €1.12bn. At that point it had reduced its consolidated debts by 53.4 per cent to €582m.

In those results, Puleva Biotech registered turnover of €222m and EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of €31m – up 34.7 per cent on the first half of 2008.

Its omega-3 milk sells more than €110m per year in Spain alone.

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