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Food & Drink - 2001






















The Scottish Executive has awarded £3.6m of processing and marketing grants to 27 food production companies, which is expected to lead to the creation of 200 jobs in rural Scotland.

Compass has completed the £41m acquisition of three catering companies from the parent of Swissair - Restorama, Rail Gourmet and parts of Gourmet Nova.

Grampian Country Foods has acquired Golden Foods International, the Thailand-based chicken products manufacturer, from Wessanen for undisclosed terms, in order to gain a foothold in Asia.

Castle Eden has won approval from Easington council to sell its brewery site near Peterlee to housing developers and relocate the business to the former Lion Brewery in Hartlepool.

Katsouris Fresh Foods, the Wembley-based manufacturer of dips and samosas, has been acquired by Bakkavor of Iceland for £102m.

Cube8 is to acquire Room Service, the supplier of food and drink delivery services to homes and offices in the London area, for £1.5m.

Compass has acquired Seiyo Food Systems, the Japanese contract catering company, for £193m.

The Scottish Agricultural Science Agency is planning to relocate its 150 staff from Corstorphine to a new £12m complex of laboratories, glass houses and offices at Gogarbank Farm near Edinburgh.

Halo Foods is to acquire the plant, machinery and other assets of Newport-based GF Lovell for £3.4m, in order to become one of the country's leading manufacturers of own-brand snack bars.

Mission Foods has announced plans to create a further 60 jobs at its tortilla chips factory in Coventry, following an investment in new capacity.

Scottish & Newcastle is to relocate its Newcastle-based administration centre and about 50 staff into new premises at the Citygate complex by autumn 2002.

Devon Desserts has been bought out of receivership by a management buy-in operating under the name of Greenleaf Products, saving up to 400 jobs at the Newton Abbot-based desserts factory.

Richmond Foods is relocating 30 staff from an administration centre in York to Leeds, where a further 30 staff will be hired.

Chivers Hartley has bought the Liverpool-based Nelson's preserve business from AB Foods for undisclosed terms.

Robert Wiseman Dairies is seeking planning permission for a £6m depot at the Cabot Park industrial site near Avonmouth, which would involve the relocation of 60 jobs from Longwell Green and the creation of 60 new jobs.

Express Dairies has sold its central Scotland dairy business to Graham's Dairies of Bridge of Alan for £0.5m.

Scottish & Newcastle is to set up a £3.5m customer call centre for its Scottish Courage brewing business in Livingston by 2003, with the creation of 250 jobs.

Perkins Frozen Foods is considering plans to close a factory in Penrith with the loss of 90 jobs, in order to relocate its burger and ribs business.

Tulip International is to set up a £15m cooked bacon plant at the former Thermos site in Thetford, with the creation of 50 jobs.

Diageo has announced plans for a £13m expansion at its alcopops bottling plant in Leven, Fife, with the creation of up to 70 jobs.

Headland Foods is planning to build a £15m pasta factory in Grimsby, which would involve the relocation of about 350 jobs from its existing site and the creation of 100 new jobs.

Nestle is planning to invest £4m at its York factory to increase production of the KitKat chocolate snack.

Overseal Foods, the supplier of food colours, is being sold by RHM to Braes Group for £25m.

Brake Bros has acquired VDL, the French regional food wholesaler, for £3m.

Branston Potatoes is looking to recruit 20 more workers at its potato packing plant in Lincolnshire, following a rise in demand from Tesco.

Geest is to buy three production facilities from the receivers of Lincoln-based chilled food manufacturer Tinsley Foods.

Inver House Distillers, the Airdrie-based whisky company with five distilleries and 130 staff, has been acquired by Pacific Spirits of Thailand for £56m.

Allied Domecq is to set up a new division for its wine assets in January, and the business may be spun off as a separate company later.

Global Group is to acquire Paul Layzell Foods, the manufacturer of dumplings and pastry products, for £0.5m.

Cavaghan & Gray is to create 10 new jobs at its chilled ready meals plant in Carlisle, having won back a £2m contract to supply Virgin Atlantic.

Toms of Denmark has acquired Parrs Quality Confectionery, the Poole-based manufacturer of wine gums with 250 staff.

Compass is to acquire Manpower Kantineservice, the Norwegian staff restaurant company, for undisclosed terms.

Cox Radcliffe has sold its Merseyside bakery interests to Preston-based Bako for £3m, in order to focus on supplying the takeaway and restaurant sectors.

Whyte & Mackay and Invergordon Distillers have been sold to a management buy-out by Fortune Brands of the US for £208m, creating a new group of five malt distilleries called Kyndal.

Culligan International is setting up a new water bottling plant at the Io Centre in Swindon, which will provide jobs for 40 people by the end of the year.

McIntosh of Dyce is planning to create 100 new jobs and launch a new range of branded food products.

Genesis Breads of the World is planning to invest £1m in the expansion of its bakery in Londonderry, with the creation of up to 50 jobs.

Grampian Country Foods is to buy Malton Foods, the pigmeat processor, from Uniq for about £20m.

Robert Wiseman Dairies is planning to create 100 more jobs at its new milk and cream plant at Droitwich Spa by the end of the year.

Golden Vale and Express Dairies are to sell their Dale Farm milk business in Northern Ireland to Dromona Quality Foods for £18m, with Express receiving 80% of the proceeds.

Kerry Group has acquired the Sunderland-based sauces and flavoured butters division of Voyager Foods.

Food From Scotland has acquired Le Maison Du Patissier, the supplier of bread and desserts to the catering sector.

Hazlewood Foods is recruiting 300 staff to work at its new £13m chilled pizza factory at the Deeside industrial park, but 379 jobs will be lost through the closure of its Bedford plant.

Brake Bros has acquired Scotia Campbell Marine, the supplier of fresh fish and seafood to caterers from two branches in Edinburgh and Glasgow, for £4m.

McGeary Mushroom is to double the size of its fresh mushroom operation in Northern Ireland, with the creation of 15 jobs in Moy.

Beacon Foods is planning to create 20 more jobs over the next 12 months as it continues to expand its food ingredient production facility in Brecon.

Humber Quality Foods is to relocate its North Lincolnshire-based vegetable processing business to larger premises at Newton-on-Trent early next year, with the creation of about 20 jobs.

McCain is planning to build a £70m frozen chips factory at Rugeley in Staffordshire by 2004, with the creation of 150 jobs.

Golden Vale is to invest £1.5m at its Golden Cow cheese snacks plant in Portadown, with the creation of 15 jobs over the next three years.

Richmond Foods has confirmed plans to buy Nestle's UK ice cream business for £5.8m.

Allied Domecq is to acquire Bodegas y Bebidas, the Spanish wine producer, for £174m.

Campbell Soup is planning to relocate 80 staff from King's Lynn and 30 from Crawley to a new commercial head office in Cambridge and a research centre in Worksop.

Allied Domecq is to acquire Kuemmerling, the German distiller that produces spirits and bitters, for £128m.

Adams Pork Products is seeking planning permission from North Kesteven District Council for a £10m extension to its meat products factory in Ruskington.

Gibsons is creating an unspecified number of new jobs at its sandwich factory in Ellesmere Port.

Cornish Country Larder is planning a £2.3m expansion at its soft cheese factory in Newquay.

Allied Domecq is to acquire Montana, the New Zealand winemaker, for £300m, as Lion Nathan of Australia has withdrawn from the takeover battle.

Wholebake Foods is planning to expand production of cereal bars at its factory in Corwen, Denbighshire, with the creation of 10 jobs.

Devro, the sausage casings company, is to sell its lossmaking cellulose business to Teepak for £5m, in order to focus on its traditional collagen manufacturing operations.

Boutinot is planning to raise £6m in a flotation on Aim in order to fund the expansion of its wine production and export business.

Unilever is selling its North American seafood business to the US arm of Nippon Suisan for £125m, which will involve the transfer of about 750 staff.

Mission Foods is to expand its new tortilla chips factory in Coventry by opening a third production line in October, taking the total workforce to 200.

Cadbury Schweppes is to buy the ReaLemon and ReaLime juice brands in the US, including a New York factory, from Eagle Family Foods for £90m.

Findus, the food manufacturer, has relocated its head office and 40 staff from Croydon to Redhill.

Britannia Biscuits is planning to double the workforce at its Teesside biscuit factory to 150 over the next year.

S Daniels, the soup manufacturer, is planning to sell a 30% stake to Singapore Food Industries, in order to raise £10m for the expansion of its plants.

Milk Link, the dairy farmers co-operative, is planning to spend up to £150m on the acquisition of milk processing plants and the expansion of its distribution network.

Uvine has acquired wine merchant Michael Morgan for undisclosed terms, in order to add storage and transport facilities to its online wine exchange business.

Cranswick is to acquire Continental Fine Foods, the Manchester-based supplier of meats and delicatessen products, for £12m.

Gafoor Poultry Products has won permission to build a £1.1m poultry processing plant at the former BFL Coal Yard in Preston.

Baxters Group of Food Companies has acquired Garner's Foods, the Worcestershire-based manufacturer of pickles and salad dressings.

Tate & Lyle is to sell its Domino Sugar cane refining business in the US to Refined Sugars of New York for up to £145m.

Taypack Potatoes is planning to extend its potato packing premises in Moncur, Inchture, including a new office and improved dispatch and grading facilities.

Malton Foods is creating an unspecified number of new jobs at its Unipork bacon plant in Cookstown.

Cadbury Schweppes has agreed to acquire La Casera, the Spanish lemonade company, for £72m.

Compass has acquired Vendepac, the supplier of vending machines, from TM Group for £84m.

Northern Foods is creating up to 150 jobs at a new £2.5m food production facility in Trowbridge, which will enable its Bowyers division to produce nut-free meat products.

Humber Growers has acquired tomato grower Van Heyningen Brothers for about £10m, and the new group will have more than 1,000 staff and trade as Humber VHB.

Homefoods is planning to invest £4m in a new production line for the DJ Spuddles microwaveable chip in Birkenhead.

Youngs Bluecrest is planning to recruit a further 100 workers at its Grimsby fish products factory over the next few months.

Kwoks is planning to expand its Oriental food factory in Grimsby later this year, and the workforce will rise from 45 to more than 60.

Richmond Foods has announced plans to invest more than £4m at its ice cream factory in Leeming Bar, Yorkshire, with the creation of 80 jobs.

Youngs Bluecrest has appointed Deutsche Bank to consider its future options, which could lead to the expansion of its fish products business or the sale of Legal & General Ventures' 79% stake.

WJ Watkins has acquired Barradale Farm in Kent, which will create the country's third largest egg producing company.

Princes Foods is to relocate its Chichester-based Shippam's meat spreads business to new premises on the Terminus Road industrial estate.

Allied Domecq is to buy two Argentine wine producers - Bodegas y Vinedos Graffigna and Vinedos y Bodegas Sainte Sylvie - for about £30m.

Inter Link Foods has taken up its longstanding option to buy the William Lusty bakery from Bank of Scotland for £0.4m.

Grampian Country Foods is in discussions with Aberdeenshire Council about plans to double the size of its chicken products plant in Banff, which could involve hundreds of new jobs.

Samworth Brothers is considering plans to set up a £15m factory in the Melton Mowbray area to produce a new unnamed food product, and is currently searching for a suitable site.

First Milk has formed a partnership with the Dairygold Irish farmers' co-operative to expand its recently-acquired Aeron Valley cheese business in west Wales.

NIAB is in merger discussions with the Morley Research Centre, the farmer-owned research organisation based in Norfolk, in order to expand the range of services offered to arable farmers.

Warburtons is to create a further 100 jobs later this year at its new £30m bread-making centre in Wednesbury.

Carrick Council is to consider plans from Truro-based Business Location Services to build a £30m food manufacturing centre on a 34-acre site near Chacewater, creating a "centre of excellence for the Cornish food industry".

Warburtons is investing a further £0.9m in new equipment for its Eastwood bakery in Nottinghamshire, including an automated ingredient feeder system and an extra bagging machine.

Anglia Oils is to relocate the production activities of newly-acquired Chalice Foods from Leicestershire to a new factory at King George Dock in Hull.

WT Foods, the ethnic foods manufacturer, is to undergo a £79m management buy-out backed by Bridgepoint Capital.

First Milk has acquired the Aeron Valley cheese company in West Wales from Milk Marque in a deal believed to be worth more than £5m.

Tate & Lyle is hoping to sell its Western Sugar business in the US to the Rocky Mountain Sugar Growers Co-operative, and is also negotiating the sale of its Domino Sugar cane refining operation.

Cadbury Schweppes has confirmed plans for the £419m acquisition of Pernod Ricard's soft drinks operations, which include the Orangina brand.

Cobra, the supplier of beer to Indian restaurants, is planning to raise up to £50m in a flotation to fund the expansion of its overseas sales network.

Whitworths, the dried fruit and nuts company, is being sold by Scotia Haven to a management buy-out backed by Gresham Trust for £15m.

Golden Vale is building a new research and development centre, as part of a £11m expansion at its cheese plant in Coleraine.

Longslow Dairy Group has acquired Selecta Foods, the Dorset-based supplier to the catering industry with 32 staff, for undisclosed terms.

Robert Wiseman Dairies has awarded a £3m contract to Clugston to build a distribution depot at Birtley, Tyne & Wear.

Macduff Shellfish has acquired the mothballed Abacus factory in Mintlaw and plans to double its workforce to 240 by the end of this year.

Robert Wiseman Dairies has acquired Lordswood Dairy, the southwest-based milk distributor, for £2m, in order to increase the output of its new Droitwich dairy.

Unilever is to shed up to 250 jobs at the former Bestfoods headquarters in Esher, Surrey, and the business will be relocated to its own Van Den Bergh premises in Crawley.

Clover of Australia is to invest £5.4m setting up a food additives business in Europe, and is considering a flotation on Aim.

Aunt Mollies Foods is to invest £1.9m in the expansion of its bakery in west Belfast, with the creation of 60 jobs over the next three years.

Chivers Hartley has acquired the assets and business of Stratford-upon-Avon Foods for undisclosed terms.

Cadbury Schweppes is in negotiations to acquire La Casera, the Spanish soft drinks company, for about £60m.

Brake Bros has acquired Szymczak Nadreau and Valette from Carigel for £17m, as part of a strategy to develop a national food distribution network in France.

Welcome Break is to invest £5m converting 33 Granary restaurants at motorway service stations into new quick-service outlets called Food Connection.

Horizon Biscuits is to invest £12m at its factory in Moreton, Wirral, in order to improve productivity and manufacture new products, and the company will be renamed BestBake Foods.

Frederick Hiam Foods is planning to create up to 240 jobs at a new £6m vegetable processing factory in Brandon, Suffolk.

Hancocks Holdings has set up a £3.5m confectionery distribution warehouse at the Castle Business Park in Loughborough.

Bronte Foods is investing £1m at its poultry and processed meats factory in Haworth.

Freshbake Foods, the manufacturer of savoury pastries and sausages, has been sold by Vlasic Foods of the US to a management buy-out.

British Sugar is investing £25m in the installation of new resin separation technology at its Wissington factory in Norfolk.

RF Brookes has started recruiting 200 new workers at its ready meals factory in Newport, in order to handle the transfer of a £30m contract from Wolverhampton-based Sun Valley Foods.

Highland Spring has acquired The Gleneagles Spring Water Company from Time Group for undisclosed terms.

Orkney Islands Council is setting up two new food parks at Kirkwall and Stromness in partnership with Orkney Quality Food and Orkney Enterprise.

Freshway Foods has acquired Fredericks, the Telford-based sandwich maker.

Hibernia Foods has acquired the chilled and frozen desserts business of La Boheme.

Friesland Coberco Dairy Foods has bought Nutricia Dairy & Drinks UK.

S&A Foods has announced plans to build a £31m ready meals factory in Newcastle-under-Lyme, with the creation of 1,000 jobs by 2002.

Inter Link Foods has acquired Nicholas & Harris, the Salisbury-based cake maker, for £3.7m.

Nottingham City Council has proposed plans for the development of a £5.5m six-acre site for food manufacturing companies at Southglade Park, and construction could start in April 2002.

Brake Bros has acquired Roach Frozen Foods, the catering wholesale business, from Roach Foods, and will sell its Wicketts bacon slicing and operation to Roach Foods.

Prize Food, the supplier of private label food products to supermarkets, has appointed UBS Warburg to investigate the possibility of selling the business, which could be worth about £100m.

Poultec Training has submitted plans to Breckland Council to set up a new training centre for the food and poultry industry at South Green in Mid Norfolk.

Compass has acquired Milburns, the supplier of catering services at a number of historic sites.

H Fletcher & Son, the Hull-based bakery and meat processing group, has been acquired by a local businessman for undisclosed terms, saving 150 jobs.

Dairy Crest has acquired Somerset & Wiltshire Dairy, the organic milk group, for £2.5m.

NFF, the cake manufacturer, has been bought out of receivership by a management buy-in for undisclosed terms, saving about 200 jobs in Gateshead and Manchester.

Gilchris is seeking permission for a £4m expansion at its chocolate products factory in Fakenham, which would create 30 jobs.

Cumbrian Seafoods is planning a £2.5m expansion at its factory in Maryport, which will create 75 new jobs.

Tomos Watkin has acquired Tavern Wholesaling's Swansea-based drinks distribution business, as part of a £10m expansion plan.

Exotic Farm Produce is expanding its Lincolnshire-based vegetable packing business with the acquisition of the former Elgro premises at Kirton.

Albert Fisher has sold its Mondi fruit and vegetable operations in Poland and Belgium to management for £6.7m.

Brake Bros is seeking acquisitions in France in order to expand its European business supplying food to caterers.

Arla Foods is to build a dairy and distribution centre on a 32-acre site in Stourton, Leeds, which will involve the relocation of its existing city centre site and the creation of up to 100 jobs.

St Modwen has been selected to build the £50m national food heritage centre in Stafford, which will be called The Great British Kitchen and lead to the creation of up to 1,000 jobs.

Princes Foods has completed the acquisition of Beta Foods, the Chichester-based manufacturer of Shippam's meat spreads with 180 staff, for undisclosed terms.

IAWS is investing £24m in a joint venture with Tim Hortons to set up a new factory in Canada to produce Cuisine de France bakery products.

Compass has bought a 75% stake in HSG, the German catering company, and has an option to buy the remaining 25%.

Lambrini, the producer of a perry drink, is planning a £15m expansion of storage capacity at its Huyton headquarters on Merseyside, with the creation of 200 jobs.

Ethnic Cuisine is to create 125 new jobs at its ready meals factory in Swansea over the next three years, having completed a £6m expansion of the site.

Pataks has acquired Galtres Food, the Cumbernauld-based producer of ethnic breads, which will increase its annual turnover by about £10m.

South Derbyshire District Council has approved plans from the Amelca dairy farmers co-operative to build a milk processing factory at Dove Valley Park in Foston, with the creation of 150 jobs.

Kingsland Wines & Spirits, the Manchester-based import and bottling company with 150 staff, has undergone a £14m management buy-out.

Compass is to invest £44m in a joint venture with Abu Dhabi National Hotels to offer food service management in countries throughout the Middle East.

Joseph Heler Cheese is investing £1m in a new office block and IT system at its dairy in Cheshire, and is likely to create a number of new jobs in sales and marketing.

Unilever has agreed to sell its recently-acquired Bestfoods Baking business in the US to George Weston of Canada for £1bn.

De Vere is selling five Tavern depots to HP Bulmer for £2.5m and 12 depots to Classic Drinks for £7.7m.

Britannia Biscuits has opened a new £4m factory at the South Tees Imperial Food Park near Middlesbrough, with the creation of up to 150 jobs.

Grahams Dairies has acquired Country Fresh, the Lothian-based dairy, as part of an ongoing acquisitions programme.

Unilever has acquired Go Organic, the small Scottish producer of organic pasta sauces and soups.

Cadbury Schweppes is looking to expand the distribution of its confectionery products into new outlets such as hospitals, pubs and other public places, partly through the use of vending machines.

Compass is to acquire the remaining 67% of Selecta Group, the European vending machine operator, for £374m.

Geest has bought the Cherry Valley ready meals factory in Grimsby, and plans to expand the site and the 85-strong workforce.

Inter Link Foods is to acquire Cakes for the Connoisseur from the receivers of NFF Trading for up to £3.1m.

Allied Domecq has announced a £282m takeover bid for Montana Group, the New Zealand winemaker, as part of a strategy to develop its premium wine and spirits brands.

Compass is to acquire Morrison Management Specialists, the US contract caterer, for £383m, and has also announced the completion of its demerger from Granada.

DSM Food Specialties is to relocate its dairy ingredients business from Tamworth to Aldridge near Birmingham in March.

Petty Wood is planning to set up a field sales force to expand its wholesale foods business into cash and carries and forecourts.

Heinz is to invest a further £2m in its Grimsby pizza factory, which will increase the product range and create new jobs later this year.

Dairy Crest has confirmed plans to invest £39m at its Severnside dairy in Gloucestershire with the creation of 320 jobs, but five other sites will be closed with the loss of 600 jobs.

Unilever has confirmed plans to sell a number of European dry soup and sauce brands to Campbell Soup of the US for £633m, in order to win approval for its acquisition of Bestfoods.

NWF is planning to double production of blended animal feeds at its Nantwich plant, with the creation of 40 jobs.

Northern Foods is to acquire Lacemont, the Irish company that is building a frozen pizza factory, for £7.4m.

Golden Wonder is to invest £3m in new manufacturing capacity at its Corby plant having reached agreement with General Mills of the US to produce the Bugles savoury snack for the UK market.

Macphie is to expand its food ingredients business with the acquisition of Oakwood Foods of Uddingston for undisclosed terms.

Cadbury Schweppes is expanding in Argentina with the £15m purchase of the Mantecol confectionery product from Georgalos Hnos.

Milk Group is to acquire Lubborn Cheese of Somerset for £7.5m, as part of a strategy to become a leading supplier of niche dairy products.

GBL International has confirmed plans to create 48 jobs at a new soft drinks bottling plant in Clay Cross.

Brake Bros has acquired three frozen and chilled food companies in south-east France for a total £16m.

Breckland Council is to consider plans from Sunmark Produce to set up a new processing plant at Attleborough to handle organic foods imported from South Africa, which would create 30 jobs.

Faccenda is to close the Webbs Country Foods chicken products factory in Lymington, Hampshire, with the loss of up to 500 jobs, but has also announced plans to invest £6m at sites in Telford, Dudley, Wiltshire and Northants.

Grampian Country Foods is seeking permission to convert its chicken processing site on the edge of Edinburgh into a business park, which would involve the relocation of its factory to a greenfield site, possibly in West Lothian.

Punjab Kitchen is moving its frozen meals business to a £1m site in South Shields, where it will create 22 jobs.

Candover, the private equity investor, is in negotiations to acquire the Picard Surgeles frozen food business from Carrefour of France for £475m.

Mackays, the preserve manufacturer, has acquired Hudson International, the supplier of confectionery and food gifts, for undisclosed terms.

Faccenda has bought Webb's Country Foods for undisclosed terms, to create a combined poultry processing group with turnover of £300m.

United Norwest Co-op is to create 30 jobs at its Norpak Food Services warehouse in Eccleshall, having won a new contract to store and distribute temperature-controlled products.

Lockerbie Creamery is to recruit 15 new staff to meet rising demand for cheese.

Dairy Crest has won planning permission to expand its Severnside Creamery near Stroud, which will involve a new blow moulding facility to produce plastic bottles and the creation of 12 jobs.

United Milk has confirmed plans to build a £45m dairy processing plant at Westbury in Wiltshire by early 2002, having secured £28m from Bank of Scotland.

Toms of Denmark is planning to invest £50m in the UK over the next three years by acquiring a number of small confectionery manufacturers and expanding its two existing factories.

LB Meat Products is to invest £2m in new premises in Newtownabbey, with the creation of 25 jobs over the next three years.