The global agri-foods firm has made a series of strategic moves in Eastern Europe in the last few years. Last year it acquired a rapeseed crushing plant in southern Germany – its first in Central and Eastern Europe – from Campa Sud. In 2007 moved to consolidate its position in Eastern Europe's market for sunflower seed by buyingthe remaining shares in the Ilitchevskiy Maslo Extractionniy Zavod joint stock company (Imez) from Risoil.
“This acquisition will allow ADM to expand further its leadership position in agricultural processing in Europe and strengthen our softseed processing activities in this region,” said Brent Fenton, managing director of ADM Europe. He added that it will “support ADM’s expansion of its rapeseed and sunseed origination network in Central Europe.”
Located in the south of the Czech Republic, the site consists of an oilseed crushing, refining and biodiesel plant that makes oil and meal for the food and animal feed sectors, and also serves the energy markets.
The value of the acquisition has not been disclosed. ViaChem Group was founded in 2002 and according to its website founded its primary aim is “to invest into the chemical and food-processing industries in Central and Eastern Europe”. ViaChem, for its part, has not signalled the reasons for the disposal.
The CEE region one of high potential for food manufacturers – and indeed other industries. Since Poland, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria have all joined the EU in the last five years, earnings and consumer spending power have followed a general upward path.
Overall ADM has more than 230 processing plants around the world. These handle not just oils, but the other commodity crops in which it deals, sich as corn, wheat and cocoa.
For the financial year ended June 30, ADM’s overall global sales were US$69bn.