Swiss-held Alimenta Group, the shareholder of Expur Urziceni – producer of vegetable oil brand Ulcom, which last year entered the biodiesel market, will sell all vegetable oil and biodiesel production divisions held via Expur Urziceni to French giant Sofiproteol, but will retain 13,000 hectares of farming land in Galati county.
“Agricultural operations, which belong to some of the Expur shareholders are not included in this sale. Agricultural operations involved around 13,000 hectares in the Calarasi area, close to the Danube, where rapeseed, sunflower, wheat, barley, and maize are grown,” said Richard Radag, president of Expur Urziceni, without, however, revealing the name of the corporate entity through which the Swiss own these plots.
Alimenta Group started negotiations with Sofiproteol for the sale of Expur Urziceni – the biggest biodiesel producer in Europe, with 5.5 billion euros in turnover, with the due diligence process being close to completion. Representatives of Alimenta and Sofiproteol, which will be advised both by Romanian and French law firms, did not reveal the value of the transaction. However, sources from the industry say the French could pay between 60 and 100 million euros for Expur, making it the biggest transaction on the local vegetable oil market.