Billionaire German dynasty snaps up British sausage casings firm for £540m

A billionaire German sausage dynasty has bought the British casings manufacturer Devro in a £540m deal.

The Rethmann family is taking control of Devro through its subsidiary Saria, which already owns sausage casings and meat products business Van Hessen.

Saria pledged to invest in research and develop a wider range of products for Devro. It will retain all of Devro’s seven manufacturing sites across the world, along with its headquarters in Moodiesburn, Scotland.

Shares at the Scottish company soared to their highest level since 2015.

The Rethmanns are one of Germany’s wealthiest families because of their conglomerate the Rethmann Group, whose revenues hit €21bn (£18bn) last year. Its interests span food, agriculture, recycling, waste and logistics.

Saria is one of the group’s three divisions and had revenues of €3bn in 2021. It offered to pay 316.1p per share for Devro, 65pc higher than the company’s 192.0p share price at the close of business on November 24.

Harald van Boxtel, chief executive of Van Hessen, said the deal would bring together the two businesses’ complimentary products.

He said: “The combined businesses would be ideally placed to capture growth in both mature and emerging markets by maximizing the combined sales and distribution platform, an improved research and development function and a wider range of products.

“We are excited by the opportunity to invest further in Devro’s facilities and team over the long term and deliver a range of benefits to employees, customers and suppliers alike.”

Steve Good, chairman of Devro, said: “Under the ownership of Saria, the combined business will have an enhanced product offering; will be a stronger, more diversified group of scale; and will look to further accelerate long-term sustainable growth.”

It comes after European pork giant Danish Crown this week announced a £100m investment into the UK, revealing plans to build a state of the art bacon and gammon plant in Rochdale.


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