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VION Food Germany to Sell Convenience-Retail

25 September 2013

GERMANY - In the framework of the restructuring process agreed upon in April, VION Food has decided to take an important step towards repositioning itself as a slaughtering and meat processing company.

Last week, the German management team decided to divest its German Convenience-Retail activities. "The production of sausages, escalopes and meatballs will no longer be part of VION’s core activities," says David Müller-Elmau, Managing Director Convenience-Retail Germany. The sale process for seven production locations and three meat markets, nine fresh meat centres and 30 branches with some 1,700 staff will start in the near future.

VION Food’s future focus will be on reinforcing its pig and cattle slaughtering and fresh meat processing activities. Further investment will take place in these core activities. Furthermore, the Foodservice Frozen Convenience activities consisting of the companies Salomon FoodWorld and Salomon Hitburger in Großostheim as well as FVZ Westwood will be continued and expanded. Millions will also be invested in the expansion and modernisation of the production of pre-packed meat at the Großostheim location.

Well Positioned

VION Food has decided to sell its German Convenience-Retail activities because it is not the best owner to develop these activities further and investments within its core activities have a higher strategic priority. However, investments would be required to support the further growth of the Convenience-Retail activities. The activities, which consist of the production of various types of sausages, canned meats, boiled ham, escalopes, meatballs, poultry-based convenience products, vegetarian products and regional specialities in Bavaria, Hesse and Thuringia are well positioned in the food retail and wholesale trade to which it sells 75 percent of its volume.

The objective of the sale process will be to sell the abovementioned production and sales activities to a new owner. David Müller-Elmau: "We are in no rush when it comes to this sale process, but will take our time entering into talks with interested parties in order to ensure a safe future for our operations". VION Convenience-Retail’s clients have already been informed about the measures. VION will continue to supply its products with 100 percent reliability and with the right level of quality, as it did in the past. The new owner will acquire a well positioned company with stable and high-quality client relationships.

On 20 September, the management of VION Food Germany has informed its staff and the works councils at all the locations about the decision to sell the Convenience-Retail activities. David Müller-Elmau explained to the staff: "In our discussions with possible buyers we will strive to maintain all locations and employment opportunities”. Alongside approximately 1,300 own staff, slightly over 400 temporary staff work at the locations.

Locations

The following locations and production companies are altogether part of the divestment: Lutz Fleischwaren GmbH with the VION Convenience companies in Hammelburg, Chemnitz and Landsberg; Artland Convenience GmbH, Badbergen; Weimarer Wurstwaren GmbH, Nohra/Weimar; Otto Nocker GmbH, Germaringen; Conrad Heiter GmbH with 11 branches in Wiesbaden; meat markets of Südfleisch GmbH in Munich, Ingolstadt, Traunstein; VION Convenience Frischecenter GmbH, 9 locations; VION Convenience Filialen GmbH, 19 locations; Wurstworld GmbH and VION Convenience Management GmbH.

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