The deal with Modelo Continente Hipermercados, known as Sonae, will see Hilton co-operate with the company to supply packaged fresh meat in its stores throughout Portugal.
Hilton will also improve Sonae’s production facilities.
The co-operation will last from six to nine months initially, but Hilton expected it would form a joint venture with Sonae to implement the partnership.
Commenting on the agreement, Hilton ceo Robert Watson said: “This is an exciting growth opportunity for Hilton Foods to work with Sonae, utilising our tried and tested business model in the Portuguese market.
‘Enter new territories’
“Our flexible and versatile business model enables us to meet local requirements with customers in each country and as such, we are able to enter new territories successfully.
“We continue to look for further opportunities for geographic expansion,” said Watson.
Shares in Hilton were trading up 2.3% at 564.50p this morning (July 6).
Hilton declined to comment on the financial implications of the partnership. However, the firm’s expansion into Europe shows promise for UK food manufacturers wishing to trade with the European single market post Brexit.
Sonae commercial director Eunice Silva said: “We are pleased to be partnering with Hilton Foods and look forward to the benefits and expertise that will enable us to continue delivering the highest quality at the best prices for our customers.
“[Sonae] will strengthen its leadership in the development of innovation and in the sustainable promotion of the agri-food business in Portugal.”
The partnership follows Hilton’s successful expansion into the Australian market, after its joint venture with retailer Woolworths in 2013.
Meanwhile, new jobs could be created by meat firm Cranswick’s partnership with community interest company For Entrepreneurs Only (FEO).