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VION Sells German Convenience Retail Segment

11 June 2014

GERMANY - The Dutch VION Food Group has sold its German Convenience Retail segment to a consortium Paragon Partners, a Munich-based investment company, in combination with Jürgen Abraham and Norbert Barfuß.

Following VION's decision to concentrate on its core activities – cattle and pig slaughter and Convenience Food service – VION Food Group has divested its German Convenience Retail activities, consisting of seven production sites, 29 branches, nine fresh meat centres and three meat markets, as well as the "Lutz", "Weimarer", "Nocker", "Artland" , "Vegetaria" and "Heiter – Ihr Rheingauer Metzger" brands.

The total turnover of this segment is about €435 million.

The buyers are convinced that the full potential of the German Convenience Retail segment can be developed under the new owner and that all conditions have been fulfilled to enable the sustainable growth of the company in the German markets of convenience and sausage products.

By opting for this consortium that invests exclusively in small and medium-sized German businesses, this segment was awarded to a buyer with many years of experience in the German and European food industry.

The new owners' intention and ability to competently and professionally continue operations was also crucial to VION's choice.

VION added that it was always the company's objective to sell the entire segment to one investor.

The consortium will connect VION's Convenience Retail activities together and continue to develop them, making them ready for the future and further expanding them under the umbrella of Lutz Fleischwaren, a company with a long history.

The deal was entered into subject to the customary required approvals being granted. It has been agreed that the purchase price would not be disclosed.

Vion Food has also strengthened its organisation with two top retail managers.

Tom Heidman has joined the Supervisory Board, where he is responsible for the commercial portfolio, and John Valster has taken up the post of strategic commercial advisor.

Previously, they both worked for a.o. C1000 and Albert Heijn and were responsible for the repositioning of C1000.

Michiel Herkemij, CEO Vion Food said: "We are very happy about this strengthening of our organisation. By appointing Tom Heidman and John Valster we obtain indispensable knowledge and long-term experience in the market segments relevant to us. In order to render our organisation even more professional this strengthening is crucial. We are therefore confidently looking forward to our cooperation with both of them."

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