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€27 Million R&R Ice Cream acquisition in France

07 September 2011

R&R Ice Cream plc (R&R), Europe’s largest private label ice cream manufacturer, continues to strengthen its presence in the European ice cream sector with the acquisition in France of Pilpa SAS (“Pilpa”), the ice cream division of Maison Boncolac.

The deal is worth approximately €17.65m plus stock on completion which is estimated to be in the region of €9m.

Fabrice Ducasse, previously sales and marketing director of Maison Boncolac, has joined R&R France becoming the sales and marketing director for the enlarged French business.

Pilpa, with 154 employees, operates from a factory in Carcassonne which will add some 23 million litres of ice cream to the 450 million litres that R&R already produces annually. Pilpa is a leading supplier of own label ice cream to the French supermarkets and also has a strong presence in the branded sector through products marketed under the Disney, Oasis and Pilpa brands, which will strengthen the group’s branded portfolio, particularly in France.

The sale allows Maison Boncolac to further invest in and concentrate fully on growing its frozen appetisers and patisserie businesses where it already has significant market positions.

James Lambert, CEO of R&R Ice Cream, said,” I am delighted to strengthen our business in France with the acquisition of Pilpa and the strong brands it brings to R&R. Our French sales are now at a similar level to Germany and the UK and we are ideally placed to benefit from the opportunities for further consolidation of the European ice cream sector.”

Lionel Rolland, who joined R&R with last year’s acquisition of Rolland and now has management board responsibility for France, commented: “I have seen at first hand the benefits from R&R’s management skills, product innovation and operational scale. Pilpa adds great branded products, as well as its private label portfolio, and some really good people. We will continue to combine all the best qualities of our French businesses to create a successful and profitable R&R Ice Cream business in France.”

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