Business

Billionaire German sausage dynasty snaps up British casings firm for £540m

A billionaire German sausage dynasty has bought British casing maker Devro in a £540m deal.

The Rethmann family controls Devro through its subsidiary Saria, which already owns Van Hessen sausage casings and meat products.

Sarria has committed to investing in the research and development of a wide range of products for Devro. It will maintain all seven of Devro’s manufacturing sites worldwide, along with its headquarters in Moodiesburn, Scotland.

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Shares in the Scottish company have risen to their highest level since 2015.

The Rethmanns are one of the richest families in Germany due to their conglomerate the Rethmann Group, which had revenues of €21 billion (£18 billion) last year. Its interests include food, agriculture, recycling, waste and logistics.

Sarria is one of the group’s three divisions and will have revenues of €3 billion in 2021. It has offered to pay Devro 316.1 pence per share, 65 per cent higher than the company’s share price of 192.0 pence at the close of business on November 24.

Van Hessen CEO Harald van Boxtel said the deal would bring together the two companies’ complementary products.

He said, “The joint business will be ideally positioned to achieve growth in both mature and emerging markets by maximizing the joint sales and distribution platform, improved R&D function and wider product range.

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“We are excited about the opportunity to invest further in Devro’s facilities and team for the long term and offer a range of benefits to employees, customers and suppliers alike.”

Steve Judd, Chairman of Devro, said: “Under Sarria ownership, the combined business will have an enhanced product offering; It would be a stronger and more diverse group in terms of size; We will look to further accelerate sustainable growth over the long term.”

It comes after European giant Danish Crown this week announced a £100m investment in the UK, revealing plans to build a state-of-the-art bacon and jamon plant in Rochdale.

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