8.10.2004 08:03

Atria is on track with its strategy for the Baltic rim. The company signed a
letter of intent with the main shareholders of AS Valga Lihatööstus (Valga Meat
Industry Ltd), whereby they will sell their majority stake to Atria Group plc.
Valga Meat Industry Ltd (Valga) is the second-largest Estonian red meat company.
Valga's main shareholders hold a total of 75.83 per cent of its shares.

Atria aims to sign a letter of intent with Valga's minority shareholders to
acquire the remaining shares under similar terms and conditions. Both Atria and
Valga aim to close the entire transaction by the end of 2004.

Valga Meat Industry Ltd

Valga is the second-largest red meat company in Estonia and it also holds a good
market position in Latvia. Valga's market share in Estonia is approximately 15-20
per cent and its products are sold in the main retail chains of Estonia. In
addition, Valga is well positioned in Latvia, where it has entered into contracts
with Rimi and Citymarket.

Valga's main products are various high-quality sausages (approximately 60 per
cent of turnover), smoked meat products, cold cuts, meat and various special
products. The company's brand is Maks & Moorits.

Valga was privatised in 1994 and since then has been successfully managed by Mr.
Elmut Paavel, who will stay on as its General Director. After its privatisation,
Valga has performed well and turned a profit.

In 2003 Valga's turnover amounted to EUR 20.9 million and its net profit after
taxes to EUR 527 thousand. Both turnover and profitability are estimated to
increase in 2004.

Valga has one production plant in the town of Valga, located close to the Latvian
border. Valga is engaged in the entire meat processing chain, from slaughtering
and cutting to further processing. During the past three years the company has
invested around EUR 8 million in up-to-date production machinery and equipment
that meet the requirements of the EU and the EN ISO 9001:2000 quality system.

In addition, Valga owns the second largest cattle farm (sows, pigs and beef
cattle) in Estonia. As Estonian cattle farms are usually small, Valga's own
farming operations are seen as a considerable advantage in terms of ensuring the
supply of raw material. Valga has around 30 per cent self-sufficiency in pork and
10 per cent in beef.

Strategic and operational compatibility of Atria and Valga

Atria and Valga evaluate that Valga is in an excellent position to see further
growth and profitability improvement in the future thanks to internal
restructuring and the synergies achieved by joining forces with Atria.

Atria and Valga have shared objectives for their business, products and
customers. Furthermore, Valga, together with Atria's subsidiary UAB Vilniaus Mesa
in Lithuania, considerably strengthens Atria's Baltic presence and
competitiveness in all the three countries - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - in
order to serve the expanding and consolidating customer industry.

Atria's Baltic rim strategy
Atria is the market leader in Finland, holding a market share of approximately
25 per cent in the meat business. In addition, Atria's Swedish subsidiary
Lithells AB holds a market share of about 25 per cent in Sweden. The Valga
acquisition further bolsters Atria's Baltic rim strategy. Atria and
its Lithuanian subsidiary Vilniaus Mesa and the Estonian subsidiary Valga
will gain a strong position in all the three Baltic countries. Both Vilniaus Mesa
and Valga have significant exports to Latvia. 

In order to proceed further with its internationalisation strategy, Atria is in
the process of evaluating its possibilities of entering the Russian market by
means of an acquisition.

For additional information, contact President Seppo Paatelainen, tel. tel. +358
400 661 742.


Seppo Paatelainen


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