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The Artal Group.

Artal is a privately held, diversified Belgian food company, with global operations; current turnover is approximately $5 billion.

* Artal is a private investment vehicle based in Luxembourg and controlled by a group of prominent Belgian families.

* Historically, Artal focused its investments in Belgian's sugar industry. However, over the past two decades, Artal has diversified its investments in a variety of food operations in Europe, US and Asia.

* In the early 90's, Artal strengthened its activities in the US, culminating in early 1996 with the acquisition of Keebler, the US No.2 player in cookies and crackers from United Biscuits, and recently also Sunshine, the No.3 cookies company in the US.

* Artal has a growing presence in Asia and the Middle East. It entered Pakistan in 1994 with the acquisition of a purified water company (AVA) and became the country franchisee for KFC. Since then Artal has expanded aggressively in Pakistan and the rest of this region.

A brief description of Artal's main businesses is as follows:-

EUROPE

Eurobake is Europe's largest baking operation (bread, morning goods, cakes etc.) Eurobake's companies cover all of Western Europe and a major push into Eastern Europe has become equally successful.

* Poult/Dryon: Private label biscuit manufacturer based in France and Belgium.

* Pizza Hut Finance: A 50/50 joint venture with Pepsico, operating over 100 outlets.

* Dan Cake: Europe's market leader in cakes, pastries, and swiss roles.

* Neuhaus: Belgian premium chocolates manufacturer with distribution entities in the USA, France, Spain, UK, Germany and Japan.

USA

Artal has several ventures in the United States, managed by a strong team based in New York. It is, however, best known through its major coup in the cookies industry.

Keebler/Sunshine: A 50/50 joint venture with Flowers Industries with the acquisition of Keebler, the No. 2 in the US cookies and crackers market (after Nabisco) and Sunshine, the No.3 in the industry. Together, their Sales are over $2 billion.

Others: A number of majority and minority stakes in various activities such as telecommunications, insurance funds, bio-technology funds, aquaculture, diet products, etc.

Asia/Far East

In Asia and the Far East, Artal has significant operations in several countries. In all these countries, Artal participates in several segments of the food processing industry.

* Far East: Various investments mainly in food industries (baking, meat, chocolates, restaurants, etc.) based in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia etc.

* China: Artal's ambition is to become a leading baker based on a powerful distribution infrastructure.

* Start-up in Beijing (baking factory), in operation since August 1995.

* Start-up in Heshan (pearl Delta river), baking, meat and chocolate manufacturer to supply Hong Kong.

* Japan: Nippon Shokuhin meat processing and distribution company in Osaka.

Pakistan

Artal commenced the development of its territory in Pakistan, where, Artal Pakistan has become one of the most significant foreign investors. The company responsible for Artal's activities in this Region is Artal GranAsia.

* Fast Food: Artal have the country franchise for KFC. The roll-out plan foresees 35 stores in 3 years, with a total investment of almost $40m. Negotiations regarding other (complimentary) fast food as well as them e-dining concepts are currently in the closing stages.

* Poultry: Artal is setting up one of the largest integrated poultry projects, between Saudi Arabia and Thailand, which will include breeding, hatcheries, feedmill and processing. This project, with a capacity of 9000 birds/hr, will be able to supply "Halal" poultry products to the local and regional markets.

* Water and Beverages: Purified and mineral water was Artal's entry point into Pakistan. 'AVA', the leading brand, was acquired by Artal two years ago. AVA is the market leader in the 5 gallon water business in Pakistan and has recently entered the 'Non-Returnable Bottle' market as well.

* Bread & Bakery: This sector forms part of Artal's natural "core competencies", and the objective is to repeat Artal's European success in this business by leveraging its brands, superior technology and know-how.

* Distribution: Artal is building a nation-wide, state-of-the-art distribution and marketing company that will distribute Artal's and selected third party products. The company will include state-of-the-art logistics system, transport fleet and strategically located warehouses.

UAE

* Emirates Snack Foods: Exclusive distributor of 'Pepsi Snack Foods' in UAE and Pakistan. Has the full range of Pepsi products including the popular brand "Lays". Also, Emirates Snack Foods is strategically placed to serve as a distribution platform for the entire Middle East region.
COPYRIGHT 1998 Economic and Industrial Publications
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Economic Review
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Jan 1, 1998
Words:727
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