The European frozen food leader Ardo has acquired a majority stake in VLM Foods, a well-established supplier of processed food in North America, headquartered in Montreal with sales of EUR 129 million (USD 143 million). Besides VLM Foods, the deal includes a controlling stake in Compañia Frutera La Paz S.A., Costa Rica’s largest frozen pineapple producer. The latter allowing Ardo to broaden its frozen fruit product range.
VLM Foods is very well positioned in the North American market through its strong corporate image, extensive range of quality products, and its expertise in North American compliance and food safety regulations. The combination with Ardo’s leadership in sustainable agriculture, quality processing and product innovation capabilities, will allow VLM Foods to accelerate its market penetration, and provide Ardo with a strong North American platform.
Jeff Preston, will remain President of VLM Foods and become Regional Director Ardo North America. Marcel Lessard, VLM Foods’ Founder who sold his controlling share, will remain a Board Member and further foster the development of Compañia Frutera La Paz, which continues to be led by its General Manager and Founder Luisa Chacon.
Jan Haspeslagh, Managing Director of Ardo:
“Being the European leader in fresh frozen vegetables, herbs and fruit, Ardo offers a broad product range, a thorough agricultural knowledge, a technical manufacturing competence, as well as professional product innovation capabilities. VLM Foods, on the other hand, has proven its professional market knowledge and its dynamic business model. This combination sets the scenery for building the ideal platform to supply high quality, sustainable and value added products into the North American market.”
Jeff Preston, President of VLM Foods:
“In addition to commodity vegetables, retail, foodservice and Industrial opportunities, we will look to expand new areas such as IQF herbs and value added products such as organics and a wide range of innovative products, available in the wide Ardo product offerings. Existing sustainable agriculture programs at Ardo can be leveraged into increased opportunities with the right marketing approach in the North American market.”