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Poultry Consortium Head Bids for Doux

6 July 2012, at 8:39am

FRANCE - French oilseed company Sofiprotéol is heading up a takeover bid for the embattled French poultry company Doux.

The consortium includes some of FRance's leading poultry companies including Glon Sanders, a subsidiary of Sofiprotéol, Duc, LDC, Terrena, Tilly-Sabco and Triskalia.

The offer was filed yesterday Thursday, 5 July with the administrator, the closing date for bids for the company.

Sofiprotéol said that the offer is a response to the seriousness of the social and economic situation caused by the bankruptcy of Doux, the hardship placed on the group's 3,400 employees, 800 farmers and the economy of the region.

The bid comes from the French industrial poultry sector that is already engaged with the breeders and is located in the region.

Sofiprotéol said that the bid is a coordinated offer and takes into account Doux's global business and is response to the wishes of government.

It also provides opportunities for farmers in the region and aims to preserve jobs, while taking care not to weaken the companies involved in the recovery.

This offer aims to restructure the entire French poultry sector.

The French poultry industry represents 50,000 jobs and more than 15,000 farms nd it is facing a challenge over competitiveness in the European market.

French poultry production fell by 20 per cent between 2000 and 2011, to 1.859 million tonnes. Over the same period, German production rose by 65 per cent to 1.437 million tonnes.

Imports of poultry on the French market more than doubled in 10 years and now accounts for 42 per cent of French consumption of chicken.

Sofiprotéol said the offer is hoped to limit imports and ensure a better supply to the local French market.

The French Agriculture ministry said that the result of the bids will be made by the commercial Court of Quimper on 16 July.

"The Doux Group is deeply rooted in rural areas. It is important to maintain its presence and the link with local producers," said a ministry spokesman.

"French poultry production requires long-term investors, engaged in a strategy for the future by developing an industrial tool.

"For its part, the Government encourages a comprehensive solution that would bring stability to the poultry industry. Above all, the best project will be the one, built around a real industrial project, that will save as many jobs as possible.

"As such, the Government will pay particular attention to the social quality of bids."