The transaction includes Kerry Foods’s manufacturing, warehouse and back office support functions at its Spalding and Poole sites. It also allows Pork Farms to make Kerry Foods’s Wall’s and Millers savoury pastry brands under licence.
It would lead to the creation of a new company trading under the Pork Farms Group name, led by Pork Farms’s existing management team, according to a statement from the firm. Chris Peters will be group md and Gareth Voyle will remain chairman.
A spokesman for Kerry Foods told FoodManufacture.co.uk there were no plans to cut the workforce at either plant following the deal. “The businesses are being aligned and merged into one organisation, so there are no plans for any restructuring.”
He said the move to sell followed aims laid out in Kerry Foods’s full-year results. “We had signalled at our year end that we were focused on repositioning certain businesses within the Kerry Foods portfolio.”
‘More responsive supply chain’
“This acquisition is an extremely exciting next step for our business,” said Peters. “It will provide our customers with a streamlined, more responsive and better invested supply chain, reflecting the increasingly competitive retail landscape that we are seeing in today’s market as consumers’ shopping habits change.”
“Over the last seven years, Pork Farms has developed a track record for innovation and quality. This move helps us to build on this, allowing us to make further investment in production facilities, R&D and innovation.
“This will expand the quality and range of products available to all our customers, and will provide new opportunities for our employees.”
The new Pork Farms Group employs 2,554 people and produces chilled savoury foods including pork pies, sausage rolls, quiche and savoury flans, Scotch eggs, and savoury slices and pies. The group will continue to manufacture and distribute all Pork Farms branded products.
‘Expand its product range’
Andy Rich, partner at Pork Farms’s private equity owner Vision Capital, commented: “This transaction builds on the solid trading progress seen within Pork Farms over the last seven years and will enable the combined group to expand its product range and better serve its customers. We look forward to working alongside management as the business moves into this next stage of development.”
In April, Kerry Foods announced 150 job cuts at its Poole site, which it said needed to cut costs as the savouries and pies sector continued to face heavy market and cost pressures.
In June, Pork Farms revealed it would pump £500,000 into production of its gluten-free savoury pastry brand NO G at its Riverside Bakery in Nottingham.
The company won Chilled and fresh foods manufacturing company of the year and the award for Best use of food ingredients at the Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards 2013.