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Delta Partners Raises Stake in Dutch Food Maker Wessanen to 20%

Private equity firm Delta Partners LLC raised its stake in Royal Wessanen NV, the maker of Beckers croquettes, to more than 20 percent.

The company’s holding in the Amsterdam-based organic food company stood at 20.01 percent, according to an Aug. 16 filing published by Dutch financial markets regulator AFM today. Dutch law requires investors to make a takeover offer when their stake reaches 30 percent.

“We are in regular contact with Delta Partners as we are with other shareholders,” Wessanen spokesman Carl Hoyer said by telephone today. “It would be logical for them to believe in our strategy, as we have set out a clear course.”

Delta Partners of Annapolis, Maryland, first reported having a 5.15 percent stake in Royal Wessanen in 2009. The holding was raised to 16.33 percent in November 2010 from 10.03 percent in March that year. A call to Delta Partners seeking comment wasn’t answered outside business hours.

Wessanen’s second-quarter net income dropped to 5.4 million euros ($7.8 million) from 6.6 million euros a year earlier while revenue rose 1.1 percent to 196 million euros. Wessanen shares have fallen 8.6 percent this year.

Wessanen in July agreed to sell its Tree of Life U.K. unit and its Kalisterra business in France. The company last year completed the sale of Tree of Life North America to Kehe Food Distributors Inc. for $190 million to concentrate on its European operations.

Investors in listed Dutch companies must announce the level of their shareholdings after any sales or purchases that result in their stakes crossing thresholds of 5 percent and any additional 5 percent up to 30 percent. The thresholds come at wider intervals above 30 percent.

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