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Pomuni acquires Potato Masters

The consumption of potatoes is no longer rising and is therefore putting pressure on the potato packers. Scaling-up and offering added value are two obvious methods to maintain or increase market share.

That is why Pomuni and Potato Masters went ahead with a scaling-up and cooperation scenario. Both companies want to respond proactively to the current difficult market circumstances, and chose to optimise their operations to create competitive advantages for their retail customers instead of engaging in a fierce competition. A takeover seemed the best way to go for the Muyshondt and Deprez families.
 
 “We were already actively present in France", says Koen Deprez (Potato Masters). “But we knew we could do better in terms of logistics and organisation. Response times and flexibility are essential in our market and that is difficult if the site where the potatoes are processed and packaged is too far away from the customer.


“To date we only operated in the north of France, through our Esquelbecq site", Jos Muyshondt (Pomuni) continues.


“We are strengthening our organisation and increasing the efficiency with the Potato Masters sites in Rhône-Alpes and Picardy, and are now closer to our French customers and production regions. We are able to respond quicker and, in addition to our complementary customers, we are more flexible because we created a synergy between the north and south of France.
 
 “But we are also looking beyond France", says Hans Muyshondt. “Potato Masters always took the lead in the UK, and their network and export knowledge will come in very handy. Through their site in Murcia we will establish a foothold in Spain, a country where Pomuni was not yet present and where we can now control the import better and streamline the export. Pomuni is a player with clear European ambitions. With this takeover we are immediately moving some steps forward. It is in line with our vision of becoming the most reliable supplier of potatoes and potato products for wholesalers in Western Europe. Besides, it creates opportunities for the fourth Pomuni generation, which is already active and fully backing up a further internationalisation."
 
“In order to survive in this hard competitive market, potato packers must sell more and work more efficiently", emphasises Bart Muyshondt. The takeover thus offers a solution for our operational challenges. Especially on the Belgian market real customer benefits can be created by moving volumes, due to more profitable production runs and a reduction of transport costs. The cooperation is in line with our philosophy for sustainable production and transport.
 
Pomuni appreciates the efforts made by Potato Masters in terms of innovation. With the Exquisa variety Potato Masters brings along an exclusive product of which they have a cultivation right and some top chefs are major ambassadors of this product. “Together we will strengthen the focus on innovation", concludes Bart Muyshondt.
 
Some reorganisation shall take place at management level. The Deprez family will disappear from the management, but stays in the Board of Directors in the person of Hein Deprez. This situation will optimise the cohesion and offers major perspectives for the future.






Source: Agripress    09:16:00|29/09/2014