Del Monte sells out to South African group

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The Independent Online
DEL MONTE Foods International, the foods and beverages production and distribution group, is selling out to Royal Foods, a large South African food company, for pounds 360m.

The deal comes barely more than two years after Del Monte was purchased from RJR-Nabisco in a pounds 375m management buyout.

Anglo American Corporation, the South African mining group, which is diversifying its international interests, will become a joint controlling shareholder in the parent company of the new combine, Royal Group Holdings.

Leon Allen, the chairman and chief executive officer of Del Monte, said yesterday that he believed the sale to Royal Foods was 'in the best interests of all parties. Royal Foods is a logical buyer, whom we already know well. In March 1991, they acquired our South African deciduous fruit canning subsidiary, Sapco, and since then we have enjoyed a close trading relationship under a long- term supply agreement.'

He added that since the management buyout his group had achieved remarkable progress. But the group had ruled out a flotation of its shares earlier this year after approaches from a number of international food groups.

The company, one of Europe's leading suppliers of canned pineapple and processed fruit, is not associated with Del Monte Fresh Fruit, part of Asil Nadir's collapsed Polly Peck group.