Healthy focus: Raisio looks to structural changes, job cuts and divestment as it continues strategic shift to healthy foods

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

iStock / macgyverhh
iStock / macgyverhh

Related tags: Stanol ester

Raisio, makers of functional cholesterol drink Benecol, says it will continue to focus on healthy foods as its core strategy – and will look to restructure its business and cut jobs as it continues the strategic shift.

In a note to investors today, 31st​ Jan 2018, Finnish nutrition player Raisio said it plans to shift the company structure form a holding group in which various businesses – including its feed and food units – are ran as separate businesses, to a model where certain parts of the business are combined and others are divested.

Structural shake-up

Until now, Benecol and its Healthy Food businesses have operated as separate organisations. However these operations will be combined into a single Healthy Food Division, the company said – adding that it will also look to simplify its legal and corporate structures.

“To ensure Raisio’s organic growth, we are going to move from a holding-type structure to a model in which all resources are targeted toward supporting the strategic objectives of the Healthy Food Division,” ​said Pekka Kuusniemi, Raisio Group’s president and CEO

In addition to his CEO role, Kuusniemi will serve as CCO of the Healthy Food Division until a new director is appointed.

Vincent Poujardieu, the Vice President of Benecol business and member of the Group Management Team, will leave Raisio on 31 January 2018.

Divestments and job cuts

Furthermore, Raisio also confirmed that it is exploring options for the sale of its feed division​ as it looks to continue its strategic focus on healthy foods.

The company has also recently sold off its confectionery business​, including plants in the UK and the Czech Republic, to Irish group Valeo Foods for €100m, as part of its strategy to focus on healthy foods.

In a separate announcement Raisio also said it will start ‘statutory cooperation negotiations’ with 115 employees in the group’s services department – in addition to employees within marketing, product development and service functions within its newly formed Healthy Food Division.

The Finnish firm said an estimated 30 job cuts are needed in order to ensure competitiveness and profitability within the business.

Raisio confirmed that its Agro group, in addition to its Finnish sales team for the Healthy Food Division, and employees concerned with the production of plant stanol esters will not form part of the negotiations.

Rooms for acquisitions?

While the company looks to restructure and increase profitibiity within its newly reorganised business, Raisio is also said to be looking for new deals within the healthy foods space.

Raisio CEO Kuusniemi added that the firm is looking to grow its core Healthy Foods Division, and that new buys in the area are on the table in the future.

“Raisio also seeks growth through acquisitions that suit our core business,”​ he said.

Related topics: Manufacturers

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