Pontivy, Cédex 56302
Telephone: (33 02) 97 28 39 39
Fax: (33 02) 97 28 38 38
Web site: http://www.groupe-glon.com
Sales: EUR 1.22 billion ($2 billion) (2005)
NAIC: 311119 Other Animal Food Manufacturing; 112990 All Other Animal Production; 115210 Support Activities for Animal Production; 424590 Other Farm Product Raw Material Merchant Wholesalers
Groupe Glon is one of France's leading farm and agricultural products companies, and is the country's largest producer of animal feed, feed supplements, and other animal foods. Glon is also a leading supplier of eggs and egg products, pork and poultry, and other food items, including prepared foods such as potato chips and the like. Glon operates one of Europe's largest animal genetics and animal health research facilities; the company is also active in animal breeding, particularly through its France Hybrides. Animal nutrition represents the largest part of Groupe Glon's operations, generating 58 percent of the company's revenues of EUR 1.22 billion ($2 billion) in 2005. The company's feed production, including ruminants, horse, pig, poultry, and others, tops 10,000 tons per day, and is marketed primarily under the Sanders brand. Food products account for more than 33 percent of Glon's revenues and include prepared food brands, such as Bret's brand potato chips; eggs and egg products; and pork and poultry meat products. Based in the Brittany region, Groupe Glon has production facilities throughout France, and works with a network of more than 2,000 farmers. Some 90 percent of the company's revenues are generated in France; the company's animal genetics and related operations account for the largest part of its international turnover. The privately held company remains controlled by the Glon family, who owns 94 percent of the company's shares.
BIRTH OF AN AGRICULTURAL GIANT IN PREWAR FRANCE
Formed through a merger of two longtime agricultural products partners in 1998, Groupe Glon's origins reached back to the early years of that century. The oldest part of the later feed leader was founded in 1910 by Belgium's Louis Sanders. A chemist by profession, with an interest in herbs and plants, Sanders' business originally produced pharmaceutical products before adding the production of animal feed. By 1930, Sanders had begun developing feed supplements, premixes, and other animal nutrition products, which quickly became the company's main focus. Sanders added international operations soon after, and especially in France, where the company set up its own factory in 1935. Before long, the company had developed a network of sales agents throughout France. Much of Sanders sales came through partnerships with a number of French agricultural cooperatives, such as the powerful Coopagri Bretagne, among others.
By the early 1960s, Sanders' French sales network counted some 200 concession holders, including farm supply merchants, but also a large number of millers and other feed producers. Among them was André Glon, who, with his wife, had bought a mill in 1939, the Moulin d'Hémonstoir, in the Brittany region. The outbreak of war and the introduction of a food rationing program marked the family early on, and by the end of the war, like many millers, the family turned its milling business toward the production of animal feed. By the 1950s, the André Glon company had decided to focus its business on the feed market, and by the early 1960s boasted monthly volumes of 900 tons. By then, Glon had joined itself to one of the region's agricultural cooperatives, Provimi. In 1961, the company built its own feed production facility, in Pontivy.
In the mid-1960s, however, Coopagri Bretagne led a number of other cooperatives in the formation of its own animal feed and premix production operation, called the Centrale Cooperative des Productions Animales. Sanders then found itself not only without a sales network in the Brittany region—one of France's major agricultural centers—but also without a production facility. Sanders went in search of a new partner in the region, and in 1965 entered a partnership agreement with André Glon, which left Provimi to begin producing feed premixes under the Sanders brand.
André Glon turned over direction of the family company to his sons Noël, Alain, and André in 1967. The younger generation launched the company on a new investment drive in order to expand production, which grew especially strongly through the 1970s. The growth in demand further encouraged the group's expansion, and in 1977 Glon built a new factory in Montauban-de-Bretagne.
Glon also began eyeing expansion beyond the animal feed segment. The company's interest turned to the fast-growing pork sector, and in 1978 the company joined with two other Sanders agents in the region, as well as Sanders itself, to acquire the Abera pork slaughtering group. That company had been founded in 1928, and by the 1970s had built one of France's 20 largest pork slaughtering facilities. While Glon may have initiated the Abera acquisition, Sanders became its primary investor, with an 80 percent stake.
By then, Sanders had been developing its own interests in the animal sector. In 1970, the company founded a new subsidiary devoted to pig breeding, called France Hybrides. Also that year, Sanders launched a veterinary products subsidiary, Théspos, which later merged with the veterinary products division of Pierre Fabre to become Sogeval in 1978.
DIVERSIFICATION FROM 1990
Through the 1980s, Glon remained focused, in large part, on its feed production. Nonetheless, its interests in pork production remained strong, particularly through the robust growth of Abera. That company underwent a major expansion in 1981, with the construction of a new state-of-the-art slaughtering and cut-up facility. By the early 1990s, the Abera site had been expanded again, with the addition of a new 3,000-square-meter production space.
The creation of the modern Glon Groupe was by then in full swing. In 1989, the Glon family regrouped its shareholding in the company into a new investment vehicle, Compagnie Financière de Saint-Gérand (CFSG). The change in structure permitted the group to launch a new growth phase in the early 1990s.
This phase began with the purchase of Le Cam in 1990, which provided Glon with its first entry into the egg sector. Glon expanded strongly in this market over the next decade, acquiring a number of top egg and egg products producers and their brands.
From eggs, Glon's interest soon turned to poultry, and in 1992 the company acquired its first poultry slaughtering facility, Plénier-Boscher, based in St. Caradec. That company was one of Glon's oldest feed customers, in a relationship going back to the beginning of the 1950s. Although the Plénier-Boscher facility itself was mostly outdated, it provided the company with the strong Boscher poultry brand, and with the foundation on which to build a fast-growing new branch of operations. By the end of 1995, Glon had added a new poultry slaughtering facility under the Boscher Volailles name, in Mur-de-Bretagne.
In the rural world, in the animal kingdom, for processed food, the Groupe Glon works with you, from the producer to the consumer, providing Food for Life.
In the meantime, Glon began to explore new directions for expansion. The company added its own directly controlled pork slaughtering operation in 1992, founding a cut-up facility in Credin, called Rohan Viandes Elaboration. That facility allowed Glon to add turkey products to its range. Glon also sought to extend itself into the rapidly growing prepared foods market, and in 1995 created a new subsidiary, Robichon, specialized in cooked poultry products.
The interest in prepared foods was further deepened with an extension into the potato sector—in large part in an effort to keep a larger share of the Brittany region's potato production, and especially of the higher-value finished food products, at home. In 1995, therefore, Glon launched a new potato chip production subsidiary, called Altho, in Saint-Gérand. That company then began to market the group's potato chips under the Bret's brand.
UNITED LEADER IN THE NEW CENTURY
Sanders, meanwhile, had launched a restructuring of its operations, merging its various areas of operations into a single unified company, which then took on a new name, Groupe Louis Sanders. The restructuring was a prelude to a new expansion phase, as the company began to buy a number of its longtime sales agents. This process came amid a time of greater change for the French agricultural products market, which saw the rise of a small number of large-scale, and increasingly industrialized agro-industrial groups.
In view of this trend, Glon and longtime partner Sanders decided to merge their operations in 1998, creating the group Glon Sanders. The merged operation combined Glon's more than EUR 600 million ($500 million) in revenues with Sanders' own annual sales of EUR 720 million ($600) to create the French leader in the animal feed and nutrition market. Glon's share, through CFSG, of the new company, stood at 53.1 percent, while Sanders' parent, Enterprise Miniere et Chimique, held 23.8 percent. At the start, the companies decided to consolidate only their core animal feed and pork products operations, with a view to maintaining a simplified structure for an eventual public listing. By the mid-first decade of the 2000s, however, Glon Sanders had absorbed the full range of both Sanders' and Glon's operations. The Glon family then increased its control in Glon Sanders, and by 2003, with control of nearly 95 percent of shares, the company's name was changed to Groupe Glon.
- Louis Sanders founds a chemicals company in Belgium and begins producing animal feed.
- Sanders establishes a business producing animal nutrition products.
- Sanders launches sales in France.
- André Glon and his wife buy Moulin d'Hémonstoir in France's Brittany region, then launch production of animal feed after World War II.
- Glon becomes a Sanders sales agent and producer.
- Sanders establishes the France Hybrides breeding subsidiary and Théspos animal nutrition and hygiene operations.
- Sanders, together with Glon and two others, acquires the pig slaughtering company Abera.
- The Glon family regroups holdings into Compagnie Financière de Saint-Gérand (CFSG).
- Glon acquires Le Cam and enters the egg market.
- Glon acquires a slaughtering facility.
- Glon launches the Boscher Volailles brand; Sanders restructures into a unified company.
- The merger of Glon and Sanders creates the group Glon Sanders.
- Glon Sanders acquires Volailles de Kerenna in Gusicriff.
- The company changes its name to Groupe Glon.
Groupe Glon continued its expansion through the middle of the first decade of the 2000s. In 2000, for example, the company took over the poultry processing plant Volailles de Kerenna, in Gusicriff, from the bankrupt Bourgoin poultry group. By 2005, Glon had expanded its egg operations as well, forming a sales agreement to acquire Agri-oeuf, based in the Rhône-Alpes region. Glon also had begun to explore ways of raising its international position. Into the early 2000s, the company targeted the Eastern European markets, and especially Poland and Hungary, for expansion of its animal feed and pork products operations. By 2005, the company had extended the operations of its France Hybrides genetics breeding unit, opening a facility in Mexico. With growing sales at home and increasing interests abroad, Groupe Glon had established itself as one of France's major feed and food products groups.
M. L. Cohen
Ecofeutre; Laboratoire Sogéval; Sté Boscher Volaille; Sté Farmor S.A.; Sté France Hybrides; Sté Ovifrance; Sté Robichon; Sté Terrial; Sté Trévé Dindes Investissement.
Groupe Terrena; Compagnie Laitiere Europeenne S.A.; Provimi; Lambert-Dodard-Chancereul; Agrial; Coopagri Bretagne; UNICOPA; Groupe Roullier; Epis-Centre; Cooperative des Eleveurs de la Region de Lamballe; Evialis S.A.; Societe Cooperative Agricole UNEAL; Arrive S.A.
"Agri'oeuf Passe dans le Giron du Groupe Glon," Agri-salon.com, April 13, 2005.
"Glon Sanders' GMO-Free Soy and Eggs," Les Echos, December 31, 1999, p. 16.
"Glon Sanders in Support of Livestock Farming," Animal Pharm, January 11, 2002, p. 14.
"Glon Sanders Invests at Guiscriff," Les Echos, September 14, 2001, p. 27.
"Glon Sanders S'associe à Euralis," Agri-salon.com, October 3, 2006.
"Glon Sanders Unveils Ambitions," Les Echos, September 8, 1999, p. 12.
Martel, Elodie, "L'oeuf Benefic Sort de Son Nid," Lineaires.com, March 18, 2005.
"Merger in French Feed Sector Creates Major Player," Agra Europe, January 8, 1999, p. M/8.