Norway Farmer-Owned Food Groups to Merge

NORWAY - Two of Norway's key farmer-owned food producers, Prior Norge BA and Gilde Kjoett BA, on Thursday announced plans to merge into Gilde Prior BA.

Gilde, founded in 1904, is owned by about 29,000 farmers and is a major supplier of fresh and frozen meat in the Norwegian market.

Prior, owned by about 1,400 farmers, was founded in 1929 to distribute eggs and egg products in Norway, and later expanded into poultry meats. It is now Norway's largest supplier of eggs and poultry meats.

"The merger is commercially correct, and ensures a strong national ownership is response to increasing international competition," the companies said in a joint statement.

The groups said the merger would be made final at annual owners' meetings in April, after both companies present their 2005 annual reports. If approved, the merger would be retroactive to Jan. 1.

Gilde had sales of almost 12 billion kroner (US$300 million; euro150 million) in 2004, with a profit of about 95 million kroner (US$14.4 million; euro12 million). The same year, Prior had about 2.5 billion kroner (US$380 million; euro105 billion) in sales, and broke even.

Source: AP via MSN Money
calendar icon 12 January 2006
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