Food group eats up Glisten

SNACKS and sweets group Glisten has been bought today by Finnish food company Raiso Group in a deal which values it at £19.8m.

The Leeds-based group’s acquisition will result in shareholders receiving £1.40 for each share.

Raiso Group has established a new company named Bidco to make the acquisition.

Upon completion of the deal, Raisio will hold 85% of all the shares in Bidco while Glisten’s existing management team – Paul Simmonds and Robert Davies – will hold a 15% stake.

Raisio has several strong European consumer brands in its food business and employs more than 600 employees in nine countries.

Glisten’s directors, who have been advised on the deal by KBC Peel Hunt, are now recommending that shareholders accept the offer.

Paul Simmonds, chief executive officer of Glisten, said: “Glisten has had a good journey on AIM since we founded and listed the business in June 2002 with turnover of £14.3m, but we believe this coming together with Raisio is exactly the right path for the business to take now.

“The fit in terms of ambitions, skills and capabilities is excellent and both parties will bring something to the other, not least in access to market, branding, and product development. We look forward to working within the Raisio team to develop Glisten’s position as one of the best snacking businesses in Europe.”

The terms of the offer also mean that the company is valued at 61.85% more than it was yesterday, the last day of business prior to this announcement.

David Wallis, non-executive chairman of Glisten, said: “Whilst disappointed not to be getting the opportunity to take this business forward having arrived so recently, especially so given the clear quality of its operations, it is quite clear that 140p per share represents a very good premium for shareholders.

“This deal provides Glisten, its management and employees with a great platform, both operationally and financially, from which to take the business forward.”

Matti Rihko, chief executive of Raisio, said: “This offer to Glisten’s shareholders represents a first and important step forward for the Raisio Group in its international expansion.

“The price offered reflects Raisio’s strong confidence, both in the management and in the business potential the merger of the two companies will create.”

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