Wessanen Sells U.S. Subsidiary

December 20/Amsterdam/just-food global news -- Dutch food group Wessanen has sold its U.S. subsidiary Panos to private-equity firm High Road Capital Partners Fund.

High Road will pay $22 million for Panos on a cash- and debt-free basis, which will result in a book profit for Wessanen of around $9 million in the fourth quarter, the Dutch firm said.

The sale is in line with Wessanen's strategy to focus on organic food in Europe. Earlier this year, the firm set itself a target of becoming the "organic food champion" in its European markets after offloading the last of its operations in the United States. The firm is yet to sell off its ABC business, which it said will happen next year.

Wessanen plans to build its presence in the "attractive and growing" organic food sector in Europe. The company plans to set up a "European organic expertise center," as well as "harmonizing" a wider portfolio of over 40 brands.

From the January 10, 2011, Prepared Foods E-dition