Lotte shells out for Guylian

Posted by Isobel Drake on 24th June 2008

Chocolaterie Guylian NV (“Guylian”), one of the world’s leading brands of premium Belgian boxed chocolates, has reached an agreement to partner with Lotte Confectionery Co., Ltd. (“Lotte Confectionery”), the Lotte Group’s publicly listed subsidiary specializing in confectionery.

The Lotte Group are seeking to leverage the successful Guylian brand as they enter the lucrative European market and diversify their confectionery business. Mr. Sang-Hoo Kim, President of Lotte Confectionery, is excited about the purchase indicating that Lotte are “very enthusiastic about our future partnership with Guylian”. “Our acquisition of Guylian makes our entry into the European premium chocolate market and is an important milestone in Lotte’s development as a truly global Group,” he said.

Guylian has been seeking to enter the ever-expanding Asian marketplace and believe the additional resources and market knowledge of Lotte will assist their quest to gain a foothold in the region. “The partnership with Lotte is an historic event and is in-line with our strategy to make the next quantum leap in the confectionery industry and to take full advantage of the potential of the everyday confectionery market and the fast growing Asian markets,” Guylian Managing Director, Carl Krefting, explained. “I am very happy that we have found a new platform for growth for the company, which is of great importance to everyone in the Guylian team in Belgium and around the world.”

Lotte, through a subsidiary, will acquire 100% of the shares of Guylian for an undisclosed sum rumoured to be about €105 million, with the management team of Guylian to remain in their current positions.

The deal comes as rising cocoa, milk, oil and sugar prices have put increased cost pressure on chocolate makers, and further consolidation in the industry could be expected in the coming months as companies look to streamline their operations.