Zetar, the latest cash shell company set up to build a portfolio of niche producers, is eyeing up further acquisitions after clinching Kinnerton Confectionery for £32m.
Headed by former Perkins Food boss Ian Blackburn, Zetar was launched on the Alternative Investment Market in January.
Kinnerton, which is best known for its character merchandising and tie-ups with films such as The Magic Roundabout and Shrek 2, is a leading producer of own-label chocolate confectionery and a contract manufacturer for others.
The company, which was privately owned, made an operating profit of £3.5m on sales of £42m in the year to April 2004.
Kinnerton's 500 Norfolk-based staff, who will be retained, have been promised shares in a £1m bonus as a thank-you by md Clive Beecham. He joins Zetar's board as Kinnerton Group md and will maintain operational responsibility for the company.
Corporate finance house Livingstone Guarantee, which recently completed the sale of Halo Foods to Zetar's rival Glisten, helped broker the Kinnerton deal.