Bell Group is investing in the future: acquisition of the Huber Group and expansion of Swiss facilities

16.12.2015, Ad hoc release pursuant to Art. 53 LR

The Bell Group has laid the groundwork for further sustainable growth. In March 2016, Bell will take over the Austrian poultry specialist Huber. The Board of Directors also approved an investment programme to further develop the facilities in Switzerland.

Expansion of poultry procurement

In March 2016, Bell will take over the Huber Group, which specialises in the production of top-quality poultry. Some 900 employees generate annual revenues of more than EUR 300 million. This family company has a strong position in the Austrian and German markets. The Huber Group comprises the Austrian leader in the poultry market, Hubers Landhendl GmbH in Pfaffstätt, Austria, the turkey specialist Süddeutsche Truthahn AG in Ampfing, Germany, as well as a hatchery and a logistics company in Austria.

Like Bell in Switzerland, the Huber Group applies an integrated production model with more than 400 partner fatteners. The Huber Group already provides Bell with poultry for the Swiss market from plants that meet at least the standards of the Swiss Animal Welfare Act. The parties have agreed to keep the purchase price confidential. The takeover is subject to the approval of the relevant competition authorities.

Demand for top-quality poultry products is constantly growing. Raw material availability is playing an ever more important role for convenience and charcuterie products in particular. With the takeover of the Huber Group, Bell is securing its access to the important raw material poultry from the DACH countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and laying the foundation for further growth in the poultry convenience sector. Thanks to the acquisition, the Bell Group can also enter the Austrian and German markets with a new product group. By selling to Bell, Huber guarantees the continuity of its business model. As a member of the Bell Group, Huber will also have new opportunities for growth and access to new sales channels. Bell intends for the Huber Group to continue as an independent company under its proven management team.

Bell continues to invest in Switzerland as a production location and is expanding its facilities

As part of its production strategy, the Board of Directors has decided to continue to invest in the existing Swiss facilities. Bell will be laying the groundwork for improving its already powerful production facilities in Switzerland by drawing up a substantial new investment programme for new buildings and conversions between 2016 and 2025. A dedicated project team will work on finalising projects for Basel and Oensingen that will be ready for the decision process in the next two years.

About the Huber Group

The Huber Group is a specialist for top-quality poultry and has a strong market position in Austria and Germany. The Huber Group comprises the Austrian market leader Hubers Landhendl in Pfaffstätt, Austria, the turkey specialist Süddeutsche Truthahn AG in Ampfing, Germany, the Schlierbach hatchery and the logistics company Frisch Express. Some 900 employees generate annual revenues of EUR 300 million. The Huber Group applies an integrated production model and has more than 400 agricultural enterprises under contract.

About Bell

The Bell Group is one of the leading meat processors and manufacturers of convenience products in Europe. Its range of products includes meat, poultry, charcuterie, seafood and convenience products. With the brands Bell, Abraham, ZIMBO, Môssieur Polette and Hilcona, the Group meets a diversity of customer needs. Bell counts the retail and wholesale trade, food service sector and food processing industry among its customers. Some 8,000 employees generated consolidated sales of CHF 1.3 billion in the first half of 2015. Bell is listed on the Swiss stock exchange.

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