News - August 24, 2005

No Nizo for A&F

The planned takeover of part of the A&F institute by the nutrition research institute Nizo has been scrapped. Officially the plan is still ‘on hold’, but insiders say that the plan is off.

The employees involved, who are part of the business unit Food Quality, were strongly against the plan, as it included no guarantees for personnel. After investor Jan Hak had made it known that he was considering a counter-bid for the unit, the executive board of Wageningen UR decided not to pursue the Nizo deal. According to the general director of A&F, Dr Kees de Gooijer, Wageningen UR is now holding discussions with Hak and other parties about a new plan for Food Quality. He expects a draft plan to be ready in a few weeks.

The employees’ council of A&F is pleased with the developments. Chairman Dr Arie van der Bent: ‘We are pleased that those who are most affected, personnel and our own management, are now sitting round the table again. Hak, famous in the Netherlands for tinned and bottled vegetables of which he used to be the manufacturer, is now president of the branch association for the makers of equipment for the food industry. Van der Bent: ‘We have the feeling that there is commitment from the industry. Now it’s a question of waiting to see if that turns into money, but we are hopeful.’ / KV