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What’s Cooking? weighs up future of cold meats business

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Belgian food manufacturer What’s Cooking? is weighing up the sale of its savoury business unit, which manufactures cold meats.

The company said today (25 March) it “has started a process to explore strategic options and maximise shareholder value” for a business that encompasses operations across Belgium, the Netherlands, France, the UK and Germany.

“To date, no commitment has been made and no terms of a possible transaction are known. At this stage, it is also uncertain whether a transaction will happen, as well as if it would go ahead on what terms,” the company said.

“What’s Cooking? will communicate in accordance with legal obligations when further information is available on this matter.”

The group, formerly known as Ter Beke, said the division’s sales rose 5% to €464m ($502m) in 2023. Group sales were 6.5% higher at €832m.

However, the unit’s volumes fell “as expected in a declining market”, the company said when it announced its annual results last month.

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The division’s underlying EBITDA was “stable” compared to 2022 at €21m. Group EBITDA was €45.5m, versus €35.9m in 2022.

Last year, What’s Cooking? walked away from a deal to buy European meat-processing businesses Imperial Meat Products and Stegeman.

The company announced its intentions to acquire the brands’ respective operations in Belgium and the Netherlands in October 2021.

However, after not receiving a verdict from competition officials in Belgium and the Netherlands, What’s Cooking? scrapped the acquisition altogether.


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