Germany’s ‘Sausage King’ Toennies to Remain a Family Business
(Bloomberg) -- The owners of Toennies Holding ApS & Co. have decided against a sale of Germany’s largest slaughterhouse operator.
Shareholders Clemens, Robert and Maximilian Toennies said in a statement Wednesday that they will continue to lead the business together as a family into the future. Proceedings to dismantle their holdings are at an end, they said.
The decision draws a line under initial discussions between Toennies’s owners and Brazilian rival JBS SA, the world’s largest meat producer, about a possible sale. The German company also attracted interest from an Asian suitor, Bloomberg News reported in July.
A sale could have valued Toennies at as much as 4 billion euros ($4.7 billion), people familiar with the matter said previously.
Toennies’s owners began exploring a disposal of the roughly 50-year old business earlier this year, less than 12 months after it was embroiled in a nationwide scandal due to a huge coronavirus outbreak at one of its packing plants.
Clemens Toennies, the head of the group who is known as “the sausage king”, turned into a public villain when one of his meatpacking plants was ordered to shut after more than 1,500 workers tested positive for Covid-19.
The family’s fortunes are rooted in the industrialization of Germany’s meat production. Clemens Toennies owns about 45% of the company, while his nephew Robert holds 50%.
Toennies has about 16,500 employees and generated about 7 billion euros of revenue in 2020, according to its website. It runs slaughterhouses for pigs and cattle and also makes Boeklunder brand cocktail sausages, Koenecke bockwurst and Wikinger hot dogs.
The company will now turn its attention to expansion in its core market, as well as new business lines, according to Wednesday’s statement.
“The expansion of new business areas such as pet food or plant-based meat alternatives will play an increasingly important role,” the shareholders said.
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