Valora today invited its shareholders to an extraordinary general meeting. The Board of Directors is requesting an ordinary capital increase for the refinancing of the acquisition of BackWerk, the financing of the production capacities, the refinancing of existing capital market instruments and for general corporate purposes.
In recent years, Valora has strategically realigned itself and established a position as a leading company in small-outlet retail units as well as a leading producer for pretzel products. The company today stands out due to its highly integrated value chain. Thanks to this focus on its core business, the company has an excellent basis for generating further growth at an international level in both the B2B and B2C business.
As announced on 18 September 2017, Valora now intends to exploit this positive momentum and make important investments in sustainable growth. The following measures are planned:
- Valora is acquiring the German-based food services company BackWerk with a total of over 340 outlets mainly operated through the franchise model for around EUR 190 million. This transaction will enable Valora to significantly expand its presence in the German out-of-home market with over 300 additional outlets. Alongside this and in addition to several locations in Switzerland and Slovenia, BackWerk also has more than 20 outlets in Austria, where Valora is already present through Brezelkönig International and Press & Books, as well as 13 outlets in the Netherlands. The transaction will thus support Valora's ongoing internationalisation process.
- Valora is also expanding its pretzel production capacity in Germany and the US with an investment of approximately EUR 50 million over the next two years. The US operation stems from the company's acquisition of Pretzel Baron in Cincinnati, Ohio, US, in January 2017. These investments support the strong growth path set by Valora with this business in recent years, and consolidate its leading position in this area.
The planned investments are to be financed by a combination of debt and equity capital. The objective is to increase future strategic and financial flexibility with a leverage ratio of less than 2.5x. Valora aims to achieve this by the end of 2018 as part of its overall financing strategy.
As part of this strategy, Valora is planning to implement an ordinary capital increase of around CHF 160 million. For that purpose, Valora is inviting shareholders to attend an extraordinary general meeting on 8 November 2017. Subject to the approval by the extraordinary general meeting, the ordinary capital increase will be implemented by way of a rights offering. Existing Valora shareholders will receive subscription rights on a pro rata basis which confer the right to subscribe to new shares to be issued. The execution of the rights offering is expected to take place immediately after the extraordinary general meeting. It is planned that Valora will publish further information about the rights offering on 8 November 2017.