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Kotipizza, the largest pizzeria chain in Finland, is set to move into the ownership of Orkla, a Norwegian retailer of consumer goods. (Credit: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)
Kotipizza, the largest pizzeria chain in Finland, is set to move into the ownership of Orkla, a Norwegian retailer of consumer goods. (Credit: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

 

Orkla has tabled an offer worth up to 146 million euros to acquire all shares in Kotipizza Group, the owner of the largest chain of pizzerias in Finland.

The Norwegian consumer goods retailer’s offer of 23 euros per share represents a premium of roughly 39 per cent to the closing share price of the restaurant operator on the Helsinki Stock Exchange on Wednesday. 

“Kotipizza Group is a well-run company with competent management and a well-functioning franchise model,” stated Peter Ruzicka, the CEO of Orkla. “The acquisition […] is in line with our strategic ambition to increase our presence in channels with faster growth than traditional grocery, and we see a good match between the two companies.”

Orkla added that its offer is conditional on, for example, approvals from the relevant regulatory authorities and it gaining control of over 90 per cent of outstanding shares and votes in Kotipizza Group.

Kotipizza Group on Thursday stated that its board has decided to unanimously recommend that shareholders consent to the offer.

“Kotipizza’s board of directors has examined the purchase offer carefully and decided unanimously to recommend that it be accepted by shareholders. These two companies fit well together strategically and their competences complement each other well,” commented Kalle Ruuskanen, the board chairperson at Kotipizza.

The offer has already been accepted by many of the largest shareholders in Kotipizza, including CEO Tommi Tervanen, CFO Timo Pirskanen, Axxion, Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company, Handelsbanken and Ilmarinen.

Tervanen, who will continue in his capacity as chief executive also after the acquisition, said he believes the new ownership will support the growth of Kotipizza: “Together these two companies will be well positioned to respond to changing consumer habits, and I am looking forward to being part of this journey.”

Kotipizza in February announced its new strategic objective is to open dozens of new restaurants and ramp up its net sales by up to 40 per cent in the coming years.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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