The own-label chilled food firm claimed its expertise in olive traceability, production, technical and quality standards, product innovation and category management would benefit the Alatoni site and its customers.
In turn, Alatoni would enable it to better serve the foodservice sector, Winterbotham Darby, which has its headquarters at Redhill in Surrey, said in a statement about the deal.
The transaction, the value of which has not been disclosed, was agreed last week and the staff of both businesses have been informed.
‘Beneficial for both companies’
Simon Day, head of marketing for Winterbotham Darby, told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “It is a positive acquisition of a good business that we expect to be beneficial for both companies.”
Ceo Steven Higginson said: “This deal brings together two successful businesses and we look forward to using this increase in manufacturing capacity to further develop the olive and antipasti category in the UK and Europe.
“Alatoni is the perfect addition to our world-class manufacturing site in Lancashire – Deli Solutions – and our manufacturing platforms across Europe.”
Chilled olives and antipasti achieved category growth of 10.8% in volume in the past year and was being bought by 613,000 more UK households than in the prior year, according to Kantar Worldpanel data [52 w/e September 14, 2014].
Alatoni is based at Bicester in Oxfordshire. In addition to pitted black olives and Greek kalamatas, it supplies products such as green olives hand-filled with Feta cheese and roast tomatoes with shaved parmesan and pesto-style dressing.
Winterbotham Darby was established in 1962 and specialises in categories such as continental meats, chilled olives, antipasti and continental morning goods.
In addition to its Deli Solutions manufacturing site at Clitheroe in Lancashire, it works closely with more than 80 partnering production sites across Europe. It provides support for retailers, ranging from factory auditing and product development to packaging design and category management.