Fosun, Sanyuan Foods in talks to buy French health food maker St Hubert

Joint offer for company which sells over 35,000 tonnes of spreads annually reported to be worth US$702 million

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 July, 2017, 9:49pm
UPDATED : Friday, 28 July, 2017, 9:50pm

Fosun International, the Chinese insurance-to-tourism conglomerate, and Beijing Sanyuan Foods are close to a joint deal to buy French margarine and health food maker St Hubert from Montagu Private Equity, according to a joint statement from the two Chinese firms.

Set up in 1904, St-Hubert produces spreads, plant-based yoghurts, drinks, and desserts.

Bloomberg reported the offer, which would include debt, was worth €600 million (US$702 million), citing sources close to the transaction. Montagu bought St Hubert in 2012 for 430 million, according to the report by Bloomberg.

Several of China’s biggest offshore asset buyers – including Anbang Insurance, Fosun, HNA and Dalian Wanda Group – have been placed under regulatory scrutiny since mid-June after the China Banking Regulatory Commission ordered banks to check their offshore exposure to these companies.

Diary producer Beijing Sanyuan is a state-owned firm and counts Fosun as its second-largest shareholder.

Fosun has been on a spending spree globally, and its portfolio includes resort operator Club Med and a stake in luxury retailer Folli Follie.

The joint statement said the proposed transaction will be submitted to St Hubert’s workers’ council and is subject to approval from competition and regulatory authorities.

The company is considered a pioneer in innovative health foods, with strong R&D capabilities and several patented technologies.

Beijing Sanyuan said the proposed acquisition of St-Hubert, which sells over 35,000 tonnes of spreads annually, would help the company introduce healthy organic products, further expand its product lines, and maximise synergies.