Effective from 1 December 2021, O’Brien Fine Foods has acquired the brand and business of established branded and own-label raw and cooked ham producer Bearfields of London, which has a rich heritage in producing high quality, traditional products.
Established in 1906, Bearfields of London is a family-run business spanning three generations. With a team of more than 100 people based at its East London headquarters, it counts Lidl, Costco as its major customers and also supplies a significant number of pub and café groups, catering businesses, and independent retailers.
O’Brien Fine Foods
O’Brien Fine Foods supplies meat products to all leading retailers in Ireland, including Tesco, Lidl, Dunnes, the Musgrave Group, and BWG Foods. It has a team of more than 500 people operating from three dedicated facilities in Timahoe, County Kildare; Rathowen, County Westmeath; and Rathcairn, County Meath, Ireland.
The company has a track record of success in acquiring growing family brands and businesses. It acquired Brady Family and Green Farm, developing both brands into market leaders. Green Farm is currently the fastest-growing brand in the business.
The acquisition of Bearfields of London would allow it to develop the business with operations in the UK, delivering on the firm’s ambition to grow the company, O’Brien Fine Foods stated.
Steve Bearfield, managing director of Bearfields of London, said the deal was a positive development and a great opportunity for both businesses.
'Capitalise on scale'
"The merger means we’re becoming part of a larger business. With the expertise of John and his team, we can capitalise on this scale for our employees, suppliers, and customers.
"The acquisition is testament to the hard work and strong business that our team has built over the past 100 years, and I look forward to working with the O’Brien Fine Foods team in further developing the Bearfields of London brand."
John O’Brien, managing director of O’Brien Fine Foods, said: "In Bearfields of London, we have found a strategic partner and a business of real substance that shares many of our strengths and values.
Enter the UK market
"This acquisition allows us to enter the UK market with an established and successful business, and we look forward to working to develop the brand and offering further through investment in the business and the people."
The transaction, which has been in the offing for more than nine months, was managed by Louise McElligott, finance director at O’Brien Fine Foods, advised by Wallace Corporate Counsel, JP Burke & Company and Focus Tax Partners.