Marel Process Equipment Group Acquires Wenger

International manufacturer of fish and meat processing equipment, Marel, has taken over the American company Wenger, an American leader in extrusion systems for the production of pet food, aquatic food and food for consumers.

The move expands Iceland-based Marel’s reach into the pet food, plant-based food and pet food sectors. It will form the basis of a new business segment, based on the Wenger platform, forming a fourth pillar alongside poultry, meat and fish. The new segment will focus on the important and attractive growth markets of pet food, vegetable protein and aquatic food. On a pro forma basis, this new business segment will represent approximately 10% of total Marel sales and 12% of combined EBITDA.

Founded in 1935, Wenger is based in Kansas. It has 500 employees and revenues in 2022 are expected to be US$190m (£153m). The total investment for the acquisition is $540m (£435m).
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions such as anti-trust and Wenger shareholder approval.

Marel said he sees great opportunities and is committed to investing in the combined business to accelerate growth. The acquisition should increase margins and profits. Planned initiatives include expanding manufacturing capacity to meet strong demand in Wenger’s core markets. Aftermarket revenue represents more than 40% of Wenger’s revenue, and Marel’s global reach and digital platform will support a more proactive aftermarket approach to better serve customers around the world, the company said.

Arni Oddur Thordarson, CEO of Marel, said: “Wenger’s passion for innovation and commitment to high quality solutions, in addition to excellent customer focus and talent management, are the key strengths with which Marel is proud to be associated. Wenger is a true leader in its field of providing solutions and services to the pet food and aquatic food industries, and has in recent years made its mark in the rapidly growing consumer market. of vegetable proteins with first-class solutions positioned at the center of the value chain.

Trevor Angell, Chairman of Wenger’s Board of Directors, commented: “During our interaction, it was evident that there is great strategic and cultural alignment between Wenger and Marel. Our shared values ​​and vision, our concern for customers and employees, and the combined technical strengths of both companies will create tremendous value in global food production. We’re excited to join forces with Marel, and we’re excited for the opportunities our friends and teammates will discover. »

The latest news is just part of a series of acquisitions for Marel. In July 2021, the company reached an agreement to acquire Valka ehf, a fish processing company also based in Iceland, and earlier, in February of the same year, it acquired a 40% stake in Stranda Prolog, the Norwegian provider of salmon processing solutions.

This week, Marel also reported orders at a record high for the first quarter of this year. The company recorded orders of up to €421.7 million (Q4 2021: €400.7 million [£356.6m]Q1 2021: €369.4m[£312.4m]) while the order book stood at €619.0 million [£523.6] (Q4 2021: €569.0m [£481.3m]Q1 2021: €455.3m [£385.1]).

Revenues also reached a record level, with €371.6m [£314.4m] recorded (Q4 2021: €367.4m [£310.8m]Q1 2021: €334.0m [£282.5]). Profitability, however, was down due to cost pressures including inflation, supply chain issues and absence of staff due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) was €31.3m (4Q21: €41.0m, 1Q21: €38.0m) and net profit was €21.7m (4Q21: 28.5 €m, 1Q21: €21.2m).

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