Hilton Food Group launches equity placing to fund Dutch Seafood acquisition

Food packaging business Hilton Food Group said on Friday that it has agreed to acquire smoked salmon producer Dutch Seafood Company as part of an effort to expand its presence in a growing protein category and enter the US, a new geography for the firm.
In order to fund the bulk of the €90.0m acquisition, Hilton Food launched an equity placing aimed at raising approximately £75.0m, while the balance will be funded through a committed acquisition bridge facility.

A portion of the funds will also be used to partially refinance Hilton’s previously announced acquisition of Fairfax Meadow.

While the FTSE 250-listed group did not disclose the total number of shares being placed as part of the fundraiser, the figure was expected to represent approximately 8% of the company’s existing issued share capital.

Hilton anticipates the acquisition of Dutch Seafood Company, which trades under the name Foppen, will be accretive to earnings per share in the first twelve months for Hilton while ensuring net leverage remains below 2.0x.

Chief executive Philip Heffer said: “The acquisition of Foppen is an exceptional opportunity for Hilton and another step towards our goal of becoming the global protein partner of choice. More and more consumers around the world are seeking affordable, high-quality, and sustainable protein, and this acquisition will help Hilton take our offer into new markets and to new global customers for the first time.

“Foppen’s premium product portfolio and strong customer relationships are a great fit for Hilton’s model, while Hilton’s strong ESG credentials in seafood will make sure our future growth plans are sustainable in every sense of the word. We welcome Foppen’s management and employees and look forward to delivering profitable growth through the combination of Hilton and Foppen.”

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