Business Irish

Sunday 22 July 2018

Retail giant Musgrave agrees deal to buy Aryzta's La Rousse

Chris Martin, chief executive officer at the Musgrave Group
Chris Martin, chief executive officer at the Musgrave Group
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Cork-based retail and wholesale group Musgrave, which controls the SuperValu chain in Ireland, has agreed a deal to buy La Rousse Foods from Aryzta.

Troubled Aryzta, which has embarked on a major process to turn around its business under new chief executive Kevin Toland, put La Rousse Foods up for sale a few months ago.

Aryzta bought La Rousse, which sells fine food to hotels, restaurants and catering firms, in 2015 for between €20m and €30m. It acquired the firm from Switzerland-based businessman and chef Marc Amand, who had worked in the Patrick Guilbaud restaurant in Dublin before establishing La Rousse in 1992 with his future wife.

In its 2015 financial year, La Rousse posted turnover of €36.3m and a €1.5m pre-tax profit.

The sale of La Rousse to Musgrave requires approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

With offices in Dublin and Belfast, La Rousse serves more than 1,500 customers.

Musgrave’s intention is that La Rousse Foods will continue to operate as a standalone brand following its acquisition.

“La Rousse Foods is an excellent strategic fit for our business and complements our market-leading foodservice offer,” said Musgrave chief executive Chris Martin. “The acquisition forms part of our Growing Good Business strategy, which focuses on growing our brands in the food market across the island of Ireland.”

Aryzta holds its annual general meeting in Dublin on Thursday.

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