The history of Deoleo can be divided into four stages:
I. Initial public offering and focus on the rice business.
Deoleo was founded in 1990 when a series of investors decided to create a branded food industry group whose financing would be based on being publicly traded.
Founded upon a virtually inactive company called Arana Maderas, S.A., what was called Grupo Industrial Arana, S.A. was set up. In 1992, it bought the company Hijos de J. Sos Borrás, S.A., the owner of the top-selling rice brand in Spain. After the merger with this company, the group changed its name to Sos Arana Alimentación, S.A. and went on to purchase several other rice companies, such as the Portuguese brand Saludaes. It thus became one of the leading rice groups on the Iberian Peninsula.
II. International growth
With the turn of the century, Sos Arana Alimentación entered the biscuit sector through the purchase of Cuétara, S.A, the leading brand in Spain and Portugal. This acquisition enabled it to double its assets.
In 2001, both companies merged, giving rise to Sos Cuétara, S.A. Late this same year, the company began to take its first steps in the oil sector with the purchase of the company Koipe, S.A. via an public tender offer. Koipe, S.A. was a leader in the olive oil market in Spain and the owner of the brands Carbonell and Koipesol.
In 2003, both companies merged, tripling both the assets and sales of the group. From then until 2008, several Italian brands were purchased, including Sasso, Carapelli, Friol and Bertolli, becoming the largest industrial group in olive oil in the world with the top brands.
With regard to the rice sector, in 2003 American Rice was purchased, one of the leading brand names in the United States with products that were popular in the Middle East.
With the purchase of Bertolli from Unilever, the group’s financial debt rose to unacceptable levels, forcing it to undertake a process of divestment and raising new capital, all of this within an extremely complex economic climate. The first significant divestment took place in late 2008 with the sale of the brand Cuétara, which meant that the group was now primarily focused on the rice and oil sectors.
In early 2009, the number of shares was increased and serious problems were noted in the group’s administration, which led to the complete replacement of the top management and the start of a restructuring phase due to the delicate economic situation the company was experiencing and the urgent need to raise funds in order for it to survive.
The group was refinanced in December 2010 thanks to several capital increases and the sale of the rice business.
Today, all the group’s activities revolve around the oil business. Likewise, a process of industrial and commercial rationalisation has been completed with the support of a solid financial and share base under the criterion of the utmost caution and managerial rigour.
IV. Building a new future
In 2011 and 2012, thanks to an improvement in the operating results, we have once again begun to focus more on our brands and the group’s growth. We have accelerated the launch of new products and boosted our investment in advertising. We are also working more on the internationalisation of the group by opening up new markets and strengthening the ones where we are already present.
We are confident in our business model, our leading brands and our team of professionals as we embark upon a stage of sustainable, profitable growth.
In 2013 we have incorporated the brand Hojiblanca to our portfolio of brands, Hojiblanca is one of the most important Spanish brands and is the leader along with Carbonell in the Extra Virgin category and has initiated a promising international career.