In a press statement, Zwanenberg Food UK said: “Zwanenberg Food UK Ltd has acquired a controlling interest in Malton Foods Ltd, trading as Westlers Foods based in Amotherby, North Yorkshire.
“This agreement draws together the experiences and natural synergies of both companies who share a common technological and customer background.”
Zwanenberg Food is a subsidiary of Netherlands-based meat products producer and exporter Zwanenberg Food Group, which has 12 plants in the UK, US and the Netherlands. It has 1,600 employees and claims to have chalked up annual sales of €350M (£293.2M) in 2012.
Its website states it has strong positions in the retail and foodservice segment with cut and pre-packaged meats, selling products under various brand names to customers including delicatessens.
In addition, it exports canned meat, mainly under its Zwan brand, which was established when the company was founded in 1875, to more than 100 countries.
Other branded products include Limco hot dogs and smoked sausages, and Linera pâtés and sliced meats.
The company states its ambition is to “achieve an international top position in deli meats, meat preserves and speciality products, with added value concepts, in a socially responsible manner”.
According to Zwanenberg, convenience food firm Westlers, which has been trading for more than 50 years, has sales of about £25M.
Customers include supermarkets
Its products include hot dogs, hamburgers, ready meals and Mexican snacks for foodservice outlets, plus branded and own-label meat products and preserves for the retail sector. Customers include supermarkets, schools, hospitals and leisure venues.
Westlers has had a rocky past, having been saved from administration by acquisition vehicle Comb Ltd in December 2010, backed by funding from private equity outfit RCapital Partners.
Westlers had got into difficulties primarily because of an inability to fund its pension scheme. However, at the time an RCapital Partners spokesman said it had invested in the business, because it was sound and “well run”.
The terms of the latest deal have not been disclosed and no one from Zwanenberg, Malton Foods or RCapital Partners was available to speak to prior to the publication of this article.