Ukraine’s Kernel outlays $60 million for Russian Oils

Major Ukraine agri-business and sunflower oil producer, Kernel Holding, will buy Russian Oils for $60 million, adding three oil extraction plants in Krasnodar and Stavropol, with 400 thousand tones of sunflower seed processing capacity annually.

­Kernel reported that around $15 million would be paid in cash after preliminary conditions have been met, after a $60 million valuation, with the deal expected to be completed in September.  The purchase, which has approval from Russia’s Federal Anti-Monopoly Service is expected to add about $20 million EBITDA to Kernel in FY 2012.

“While the transaction has already been approved by the Antimonopoly Committee of Russia and a share purchase agreement has been executed between the parties, remaining conditions precedent have to be fulfilled and completion of the transaction is expected to take place early September. The acquisition of Russian Oils provides Kernel with additional sunflower seed crushing capacity in the range of 400 000 tons per year in three production plants, with 1 plant located in the Krasnodar region and 2 plants located in the Stavropol region, south of Russia. In addition to the crushing capacity, Russian Oils provides the Company with oil refining and bottling capacity in the range of 100 000 tons of oil per year. Altogether, sales of bulk and bottled oil produced at the Russian Oils facilities are expected to contribute EBITDA in the range of $20 million for the group in FY2012.”

Andrey Verevskyy, Chairman of Kernel, said that despite the relatively small size of the acquisition, it is an important phase in company development, with the scope to make an immediate impact on production and the bottom line, and strategic diversification.

“While, as originally planned, the size of the acquisition remains relatively small, the Russian Oils crushing plants provide the Company with an opportunity to start operating immediately in Russia on the back of the 2011 sunflower seed harvest, also expected to be a sizable crop. It furthermore offers the Company a long-term opportunity to diversify geographically and to capitalize on the sizable sunflower seed harvest typically produced by Russia, the world’s second largest producer of sunflower seed and third largest exporter of sunflower oil. Clearly, we see this acquisition as our first steps in Russia, providing us a platform to build up expertise in this new and promising market. With this first acquisition abroad, we look forward to expand further our operations in Russia and replicate the business model we have successfully developed in Ukraine.”

Russian Oils, or Russkie Masla in Russian sells bottled sunflower oil and packaged cereals under the Rus’,  Zlatitsa, Sila  Solntsa, Povar Pyotr  Povar Pavel  brand names.  It posted a 48 million rouble net loss in 2010 on revenues of 276 million roubles.

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