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 RZESZOW, Poland, Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Poland's Ministry of

Privatization and Gerber Products Company (NYSE: GEB) today concluded the transaction whereby Gerber acquired, for over $11 million, a 60-percent interest in Alima S.A., the largest infant food and juices company in Central Europe.
 As a part of the transaction, Gerber will invest in excess of $14 million for the expansion of Alima's Bobo Frut brand business as well as the introduction of Gerber brand production by Alima.
 Up to 40 percent of Alima shares will be offered to Alima employees and agricultural suppliers on a preferential basis (50 percent of Gerber price) under the Privatization Act. Gerber will assist employees in the first year by matching every employee outlay for shares on a one-for-one basis up to the equivalent of one month's wages. In addition, Gerber is giving all Alima employees a substantial pay increase. Gerber also agreed to employ the current level of Alima people for a minimum of 18 months and to purchase agricultural products from existing suppliers for the same period.
 "We believe that the Gerber investment will prove to be in the best interests of Alima, its employees and suppliers," said Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Privatization Jerzy Strzelecki, who attended the closing ceremony at Alima's headquarters in Rzeszow. "Over the past few months, Gerber and the Ministry reviewed the original agreement and negotiated a final transaction that maximizes the interests of all parties involved, but especially those of the Alima employees and agricultural suppliers. We are very happy about the final outcome."
 He was joined at the closing ceremony by Gerber Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Al Piergallini who said, "We are very happy to begin today our partnership with our Alima associates. Alima's Bobo Frut brand is well established in Poland and will grow, along with the Gerber brand, as a result of this partnership. We are looking forward to being able to help Alima expand its horizons beyond the borders of Poland into the rest of Europe."
 Strzelecki said, "In our negotiations, we were impressed by Gerber's commitment to invest in the expansion of the Bobo Frut brand as well as expanding Alima's overall business through the production of Gerber- branded products for distribution in Poland and the other European markets."
 Alima Managing Director Maria Potocka-Bielecka added, "Gerber is a leader in infant feeding. By adding its extensive international expertise to our modern production capabilities, we will enhance future opportunities for Alima employees and agricultural suppliers."
 Piergallini added, "When we signed the original agreement on Oct. 1, 1991, Alima became the cornerstone of our strategy to establish the Gerber brand in Europe. Since then, we have become more familiar with Alima's excellent facilities, employees and agricultural suppliers. Today, we are even more confident that the Alima-Gerber partnership will enable Gerber to take advantage of the significant growth opportunities in the international marketplace."
 Alima operates its principal factory in Rzeszow, a major fruit growing area. The company has ready access to a plentiful supply of high-quality fresh produce. A quality glass manufacturing plant is located near the Rzeszow factory.
 Gerber Products Company is headquartered in Fremont, Mich., USA, a major fruit growing area. The company is the leading marketer of food, clothing and baby care products for children from birth through age 3. Gerber offers parents in 65 nations more than 1,860 products.
 -0- 2/13/92
 /CONTACT: Steven W. Poole of Gerber Products Company, 616-928-2744/
 (GEB) CO: Gerber Products Company; Alima S.A. ST: Michigan IN: FOD SU: TNM 570 02-13-92 08:06 EST SB -- DE002 -- 9810 02/13/92 14:04 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 13, 1992

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