The new group, to be overseen by Karro owner CapVest, will have sales of more than £1.2bn a year and employ more than 5,000 people across the UK and Ireland. Karro and Young’s will continue to operate as two separate business within the enlarged group.
Di Walker, Karro executive chair, has been appointed as chief executive of the new group.
Commenting on the announcement, Walker said: “Young’s and Karro are highly complementary businesses and the combined platform will have strong market positions in two important protein categories that are experiencing consistent long-term growth.
“Today’s agreement will provide both businesses with the opportunity to further develop and broaden our relationships with our key partners.”
Young’s chief executive Bill Showalter described the acquisition as being positive for the fish and seafood industry as a whole. He added: “With CapVest’s existing understanding of our industry, and as part of a multi-protein food group, we will have the opportunity to inspire more consumers to love fish through our fresh, frozen, own-label and branded products.
Build stronger foundation
“The transaction will build an even stronger foundation from which we can drive growth, providing exceptional quality fish and stand-out innovation to countries around the world.”
Karro’s acquisition of Young’s comes a year after it bought Leicestershire-based TS Bloor & Sons as part of plans to grow its value-added pork production, a move that was described as “highly strategic” by Walker at the time. The sausage-maker was itself acquired by Capvest in 2017.
Meanwhile, A Harrogate-based fudge and toffee manufacturer is the latest UK confectionery business to be snapped up by Norwegian firm Orkla Food Ingredients. Through its subsidiary NIC Enterprises, Orkla has agreed to purchase Confection by Design for an undisclosed sum.