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Food & Drink - 2006






















British Salt, the Cheshire-based salt supplier with 125 staff, is considering plans for a £100m management buy-out from US Salt Holdings.

William Jackson & Son has acquired Parripak, the Bedfordshire-based vegetable processing company with 230 staff, for undisclosed terms.

Kerrygold is planning to build a new £30m cheese factory at its site in Leek by 2009, with the creation of 100 jobs.

Brittons of Devon has been bought out of administration by Tredinnick Fine Foods, securing the future of 107 jobs at its pie factory in Newton Abbot.

Scottish Borders Council is to consider plans from Glenrath Farms to build a £8m egg farm near West Linton, which would create 60 jobs.

United Dairy Farmers is to invest a further £1.4m at its Dale Farm operation in Cookstown by April 2007, in order to expand cheese and whey processing.

Sealord is to open a £3.2m fish processing plant at its site in Caistor in early 2007, with the creation of up to 40 new jobs.

Premier Foods is planning to acquire RHM for £1.2bn, in order to create the country's largest food production group with 40 factories and 18,000 staff.

Coombs Quality Bakers of Leicester has been acquired by Hampshires Bakery, securing the future of 130 jobs.

Northern Foods is to sell Fletchers Bakeries, Chilled Pastry, Park Cake Bakeries and Smiths Flour Mills to Vision Capital for £160m, including sites in Sheffield, Whitefield, Harlesden, Barnsley, Market Drayton, Nottingham, Trowbridge, Shaftesbury, Trafford Park, Oldham, Bolton, Worksop, Langley Mill and Holbeach.

Uniq has sold its Belgian salad products business to investment group Gilde for £41m.

Torridge District Council is considering plans for the £3m expansion of Appledore's fish dock by autumn 2008, with the creation of 25 jobs.

Bernard Matthews is to acquire Cherryridge Poultry of Cromer, securing the future of 20 jobs.

ABN has sold five poultry farms operated by its Sullivan Poultry division in Cambridge, Workshop and York to Ebco of Bilbrough in a multi-million pound deal.

Redemption Food Company is doubling the workforce at its County Durham-based soups and sauces factory to 30 this month.

Grange Mill Foods is looking to double the turnover of its County Durham-based cakes business to £6m over the next three years, with the creation of 26 jobs.

Serious Food Company has acquired Simply Organic, the Midlothian-based supplier of soups and ready meals, for undisclosed terms.

Dairy Crest is to acquire St Hubert, the French spreads supplier with 178 staff, from Uniq for £248m.

Dine is to acquire Garritts, the Yorkshire-based catering company that provides services at Allerton Castle, for undisclosed terms.

Riviera Desserts is to expand the 450-strong workforce at its desserts factory in Paignton with 40 new jobs, following a recent £1.4m investment in a new production unit.

H Forman & Son, the salmon supplier, has announced plans to relocate its east London factory to a new site in Tower Hamlets, to make way for the 2012 Olympics.

Tenon Recovery has sold 123 of the Three Cooks bakery outlets out of administration to Cooks the Bakery, while 37 sites have been closed.

Cranswick has acquired Delico, the Milton Keynes-based manufacturer of pre-packed cooked meats, for £18m.

Dairy Farmers of Britain is planning to create 100 jobs at the former Golden Vale dairy in Bridgend, but 50 jobs will be lost through the closure of its site in Cardiff.

Daniels Chilled Foods has acquired Farmhouse Fare, the Clitheroe-based desserts manufacturer with annual turnover of £4.7m, for undisclosed terms.

New Forest Ice Cream has submitted plans for the development of a new 53,000 sq ft factory at the Gordleton Industrial Estate near Lymington, and the 35-strong workforce will rise by about ten.

Walkers Shortbread is to set up a new £6m factory in Elgin by the end of 2007, with the creation of 30 jobs, and its head office will relocate to a larger site in Aberlour in January.

Inver House Distillers, the Airdrie-based whisky company with 150 staff and five Scottish distilleries, has been acquired by International Beverage Holdings for an estimated £60m.

United Biscuits, the biscuits and snacks manufacturer with 7,500 staff at sites in Liverpool, Leicester, Rotherham, Ashby, Carlisle and Manchester, is to be acquired by a consortium of private equity firms PAI and Blackstone for £1.6bn.

Kensey Foods is looking to create up to 200 jobs at its newly-opened £10m desserts factory in Launceston.

Zetar has acquired Salamanda, the York-based manufacturer of coated fruit and nut products, for up to £2.2m, in order to expand its Kinnerton subsidiary.

Cereal Partners is planning to build a £40m cereals factory at Staverton in Wiltshire with the creation of 55 jobs, while a further 50 jobs will be created at a storage depot in nearby Bowerhill.

Cornwall County Council is to consider plans from Cornwall Organic Recycling for the development of a raw meat and fish composting plant in Saltash, in order to process up to 10,000 tonnes of catering and garden waste a year.

Jon George, the Redditch-based desserts supplier with 70 staff, has undergone a management buy-out for undisclosed terms.

Yorkshire Forward has invested £1.7m in the Yorkshire & Humber Seafood Group, in order to support the development of the region's seafood industry and secure the future of more than 6,000 jobs.

TMI Foods, the meat products supplier with sites in Coventry and Northampton, has been acquired by Dawn Farm Foods of Ireland for undisclosed terms.

Wrights Pies is planning to open 50 new bakery outlets across the West Midlands over the next five years, with the creation of 250 jobs, and is also seeking permission to build a £3m cold-storage facility at its site in Crewe.

TSC Foods, the North Lincolnshire-based sauces and soups manufacturer with 250 staff, has undergone a management buy-out from Gourmet Invest NV.

Community Foods, the London-based supplier of dried fruit and nuts with more than 70 staff, has been acquired by the Milk Marque farmers co-operative.

Albert Bartlett & Sons has acquired Naturally Best, the Lincolnshire-based vegetable packing company with 120 staff, for undisclosed terms.

Mackays is to relocate its preserves factory and about 100 jobs from Carnoustie to the Kirkton industrial estate in Arbroath by 2008.

Pearl Northern Developments is to set up a 25,000 sq ft vegetable processing plant in Rotherham, under the name of Superifoods, with the creation of 40 jobs.

Castell Howell Foods is to set up a new £4.4m head office and distribution centre at the Cross Hands Food Park in Carmarthenshire by March 2007, with the creation of 50 new jobs over the next three years.

William Grant & Sons has acquired full ownership of First Drinks Brands, the Southampton-based drinks distributor with 99 staff, having bought Bacardi Martini's 50% stake in the business.

Dairy Crest is to sell most of its own-brand cheese business to First Milk for £62m, including 750 staff at creameries in Wrexham, Haverfordwest and Aspatria in Cumbria.

Northern Foods is to relocate its Nottingham-based technical services department and 49 jobs from Farnsworth House to BioCity in Pennyfoot Street.

Hydes is planning to expand its Manchester-based brewery, having just acquired an adjacent 1.3-acre plot of land.

Lees Foods is looking to invest up to £8m in the expansion and diversification of its Scottish confectionery business, and is interested in the acquisition of restaurants and small hotels.

OceanC Holdings is to raise £0.6m in a flotation on the new PLUS market, in order to expand its Liverpool-based seafood products business.

Bradford Council is forming a partnership with Commercial Development Projects to set up a new multi-million pound food technology park in Ripley Street.

Irwin's has acquired Howell House, the Northern Ireland-based cake and biscuit manufacturer.

Woodward Foodservice is to close its warehouse in Rhyl and transfer the work to its recently-expanded site in Birmingham.

Rowse Honey, the Wallingford-based honey supplier, has been acquired by Wellness Foods for an estimated £70m.

Cambrian Pet Foods has secured a £1m Welsh Assembly grant to set up a new pet food factory at Pencader in Carmarthenshire, with the creation of 35 jobs.

Glisten is considering plans to expand its confectionery products division in Blackburn by about 25%, which could create new jobs.

Edward Billington & Son has sold Classic Couverture, the Speke-based chocolate manufacturer with 110 staff, to Archer Daniels Midland Company of the US for £10m.

Speyfruit is planning a £0.6m expansion at its fruit and vegetable processing factory in Elgin, with the creation of up to 20 jobs.

Woodward Foodservice has acquired DBC Foodservice, the catering supplier with 13 depots and 800 staff, from Danish Crown Group.

Edme is planning to relocate its food ingredients business, having submitted plans for a housing development on its existing site in Mistley, Essex.

Glanbia has acquired Seltzer Companies, the US supplier of speciality ingredients to the nutritional supplements market, for £56m.

Allied Bakeries Ireland is to invest £6m in the expansion of its bakery in Belfast, including new equipment and the creation of 18 new jobs.

La Pizza Company, the West Sussex-based bakery products manufacturer with 17 staff, has undergone a buy-in management buy-out backed by Vantis Corporate Finance.

Hain Celestial is creating 76 vacancies at its sandwich factory in Luton, as part of a reorganisation that will involve up to 50 evening workers being transferred to day shifts.

Unilever is to sell its Birds Eye and Iglo frozen food brands to private equity firm Permira for £1.16bn, including operations in the UK, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal and the Netherlands.

Millar McCowan has been bought out of administration by Principal Capital Management, securing the future of 140 jobs at its confectionery manufacturing operations in Broxburn and Stenhousemuir.

British Sugar is to invest £3m in the expansion of its sugar factory in Newark, including additional storage tanks.

Grampian Country Foods is planning to close its headquarters in Leeds next month, in order to relocate an unspecified number of the 80 staff back to Edinburgh.

Cereal Partners is creating 55 new jobs at its breakfast cereals factory in Staverton, Wiltshire, and is also seeking permission to expand the site by late 2007.

Premier Foods is planning to set up a £11m chilled foods factory in Methwold, Norfolk, by early next year, with the creation of an unspecified number of jobs.

Tangerine Confectionery has bought the Blackpool-based sugar confectionery division of Burton's Foods for about £10m, increasing its workforce by 180 to 630.

Willowbrook Foods is to expand its 157-strong workforce with 15 new jobs, following a recent £0.4m investment in potato processing equipment at its site in County Down.

Wynnstay Group has acquired Glasson Group, the Lancaster-based distributor of animal feed materials, for £2.5m.

Lion Capital is planning to acquire Kettle Foods, the snacks manufacturer with operations in the US and UK, for about £150m.

Wester Ross Salmon has undergone a £1.1m management buy-out, securing the future of 50 jobs at its salmon farming business in Ullapool.

Dairy Crest is to acquire Express Dairies, including two dairies in Liverpool and Nottingham and 77 small distribution depots, from Arla Foods for £33m.

Scotbeef has confirmed plans to build a £16m 120,000 sq ft meat processing factory in Glasgow by October.

Tamar Foods is to create 100 new jobs at its factory in Callington, having won a number of contracts to supply own-label savoury pastry products to major supermarket chains.

Cobra Beer has raised £27m to fund the expansion of its bottled and draught beers in the UK and India.

Inter Link Foods is investing £2m in two new bakeries in Greater Manchester, with the creation of up to 100 jobs.

Premier Foods has agreed to acquire the UK and Irish operations of Campbell Soup for £460m, including brands such as Oxo, Batchelors, Homepride and Fray Bentos.

Barton Meat expects to create 60 additional jobs in telesales, packing, production and customer services at its new £5.5m site in Gorton, Manchester.

Deans Foods is to merge with Stonegate to create a combined egg supply group called Noble Foods.

Dale Farm is to invest £2.5m in the expansion of its dairy processing plant in Kendal by June 2007.

The East Midlands Development Agency has selected the Pavilion Gardens in Buxton as its preferred location to set up a 30,000 sq ft food hall offering speciality food from regional producers.

SK Chilled Foods is to close its spring rolls factory at Skelton on Teesside with the loss of up to 65 jobs, while its head office and 47 staff will relocate from Middlesbrough to Wynyard Business Park.

Dragon Feeds is looking to create up to 250 jobs in Neath Port Talbot by 2008, having just started work on the development of a test plant to produce feed for fish farms.

Warburtons is creating an initial 30 jobs at its new bakery distribution centre at the Heathfield Industrial Estate in Newton Abbot.

Bacardi Martini, the alcoholic drinks company, is to set up a 23,500 sq ft headquarters at 28 Dorset Square in London.

Constellation Europe, the cider manufacturer, is looking to set up a 570,000 sq ft warehouse in the Bristol area, and will consider proposals from Gazeley, Burford, Rosemound and St Modwen.

Zetar is to acquire Humdinger, the Hull-based dried fruit supplier with 80 staff, for up to £13m.

Defra has announced plans to build a multi-million pound marine research laboratory in Lowestoft by 2009, to house the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science.

Greene King is to acquire Hardys & Hansons, the Nottingham-based brewer and chain of 260 pubs, for £270m.

Duchy College is to start work on the development of a £4.7m Agri-Food Innovation Centre at its site in Cornwall, in order to provide training and new product development services to the local food industry.

Genus has sold its SyAqua shrimps business in Brazil to a management buy-out for £3.2m.

Unilever is planning to set up a new 150,000 sq ft office at the Leatherhead Office Park in Surrey, and staff will relocate from a number of existing sites.

Pasta King, the Newton Abbot-based chilled meals supplier with 40 staff, has undergone a management buy-out.

Dairygold Food Ingredients has acquired Dan Dairies, the Leeds-based soft cheese company with 14 staff, for undisclosed terms.

Heinz has sold the Linda McCartney vegetarian ready meals brand to Hain Celestial Group of the US for about £10m.

Autobar has acquired Vendaid Automatic Caterers, the Oldbury-based vending supplies company with 21 staff.

Greenvale, the potato supplier with 700 staff at sites in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Shropshire and Berwickshire, has been acquired by Produce Investment for about £11m.

British Cattle Movement Service is creating 250 temporary jobs at its site in Workington, in order to process applications for the Single Farm Payment scheme.

Robert Wiseman Dairies is to acquire the Newlands Farm fresh milk business, including dairies at Pensilva and Okehampton, from Milk Link for £5.5m.

UK Automatic Vending Supplies, the St Helens-based ingredients supplier with 35 staff, is to be acquired by Eurogran of Denmark for undisclosed terms.

New Primebake is to create 44 new jobs at its bakery in Nantwich by the end of the year, and the site will be extended by 36,000 sq ft.

AG Barr has acquired Strathmore Mineral Water Company, the Forfar-based bottled water supplier, from Constellation Brands for £15m.

Young & Co is planning to relocate its beer production from Wandsworth to the Charles Wells Eagle brewery in Bedford, and its existing site is expected to undergo a £80m redevelopment.

Associated British Foods is to acquire a 51% stake in Illovo Sugar, the South African sugar company, for £317m.

Abergavenny Fine Foods is investing £1m in the expansion of a cheese factory in Blaenavon, in order to secure the future of 30 jobs.

Garden Isle, the Wisbech-based frozen foods manufacturer with 130 staff, has been acquired by LambWeston Meijer for undisclosed terms.

Lion Foods, the Runcorn-based sauces and condiments manufacturer with more than 100 staff, has been acquired by Aarhus Karlshamn UK of Hull.

Dean's of Huntly is investing £1.6m in the expansion of its shortbread factory in Aberdeenshire, in order to increase capacity by 70%.

Waverley TBS has acquired Cellar Wines Direct, the Welsh drinks wholesaler, for undisclosed terms.

Richmond Foods, the ice cream manufacturer with 850 staff, is to be acquired by private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management for £182m.

Eclipse Scientific has acquired Advanced Micro Services, the Irish cattle disease testing company, as well as Food Technology Centre, the Manchester-based food microbiology and chemistry testing services company.

Nestle is said to be looking into the possibility of relocating its UK headquarters from Croydon to a 150,000 sq ft office in the Thames Valley.

Northern Foods is planning to sell its NFT chilled distribution business to a management buy-out backed by Phoenix Equity Partners for up to £60m.

Bakkavor of Iceland has acquired Laurens Patisseries, the Newark-based chilled desserts company, for £130m, as well as New Primebake, the bread products supplier, for undisclosed terms.

Coburg Group has acquired Aroma Coffee, the supplier of coffees and espresso machinery, and will relocate the business from Southall to the Coburg site in Woolwich.

Cadbury Schweppes is to acquire Carlyle Group's 53% stake in the US-based Dr Pepper Seven Up Bottling Group for £198m, and will also acquire the All American Bottling Company for £36m.

Watermark Group is to acquire ICL, the Heathrow-based in-flight catering subsidiary of Japan Airlines International, for a nominal sum.

Tanfield Food has raised £1.4m from Hotbed to fund the expansion of its upmarket ready meals business.

Scottish & Newcastle is to acquire the Foster's beer brand in Europe from Foster's Group for £309m, funded by a £210m share placing.

Duke Street Capital is to acquire sandwich supplier Food Partners, as well as Buckingham Foods and Thomas Food Group, for a total £100m.

Castlewood Farm Products has acquired Dairygold's food service operation in Northern Ireland for undisclosed terms.

Cadbury Schweppes is to sell Bromor Foods, its South African soft drinks business, to Tiger Brands for £109m.

Zetar is to acquire Readifoods, the Sleaford-based natural snacks supplier with 40 staff, for up to £4.2m.

Nor-Sea Foods has secured a £1.1m grant to help build a new seafood factory in Fraserburgh, as part of a series of investments announced by the EU's Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance fund.

Celsius First has been bought out of administration by Yearsley Group, securing the future of 170 jobs at its frozen food distribution sites in Grimsby, Glasgow and Wisbech.

Harvestime, the Walsall-based bakery, has been acquired by Canadian Maple Leaf Bakery UK, securing the future of 250 jobs.

Patisserie UK, the Livingston-based cake and dessert manufacturer with 50 staff, has been sold by Enterprise Foods to management for undisclosed terms.

Robert Wiseman Dairies has acquired the fresh liquid milk business of Definitely Devon, which is jointly owned by Torridge Vale and the Co-operative Group, for £0.8m.

Wrights Pies has acquired Flaky Pastry, the Cannock-based pork pie manufacturer, for less than £0.2m.

Britannia Food Ingredients has secured a refinancing deal from the Royal Bank of Scotland to help fund the expansion of its Goole-based speciality fats business.

Discovery Foods is creating 42 jobs at a new £3.5m tortilla factory due to open in Milton Keynes at the end of March.

Sweet China is to acquire Essential Box Confectionery, the supplier of confectionery gift products, in order to establish a trading and manufacturing base in China.

British Bakeries is planning to create 200 jobs at the recently-acquired former Harvestime bakery in Thurmaston, Leicester, in order to gradually increase production at the site.

Buckingham Foods, the sandwich manufacturer, has been acquired by Food Investment Group with the support of Duke Street Capital.

Marine Harvest, the fish farming company, has been sold by Nutreco to Geveran Trading of Norway in a £805m deal.

Burts Potato Chips has finalised plans to relocate its snacks factory from Kingsbridge to the Belliver Industrial Estate in Plymouth in April, with the creation of up to 60 jobs.

Simon Howie Foods is to expand the production space at its 40,000 sq ft meat products factory in Dunning, Perthshire, by 10,000 sq ft over the next six months.

Heinz has sold its European seafood operations, including the John West fish brand in the UK, to Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking for £290m.

Tayto has bought the Golden Wonder snacks factory in North Lincolnshire out of administration, and has sold the Nik Naks and Wheat Crunchies brands to United Biscuits.

Torbay Council is to consider plans for the development of a £16m fish market in Brixham, which will create up to 70 new jobs.

Blackwood Distillers is planning to start work on the development of a new £3m whisky distillery in Shetland this spring, which will create 24 jobs.

Cadbury Schweppes has acquired the South African chewing gum business of Dan Products for £33m.

Giles Foods, the Milton Keynes-based savoury products bakery with 110 staff, has been acquired by Food Investment Group, and FIG has also acquired Thomas Foods of Sheffield.

British Bakeries has bought part of the former Harvestime bakery in Thurmaston, Leicester, out of administration, and plans to restart production soon.

Caledonian Brewing Company has acquired the Harviestoun Brewery near Stirling for undisclosed terms, and plans to expand production at the site.

Fishworks is to acquire Channel Fisheries, the Devon-based fish supplier with 12 staff, for almost £1m.

Produce World has acquired British & Brazilian Produce Company, the Stowmarket-based fruit importer with annual turnover of £30m.

Culina Logistics is to start recruiting up to 300 staff at its new 172,000 sq ft chilled foods distribution centre at Prime Point, near Stafford.

Uniq Foods is to expand its chilled desserts factory in Paignton with the creation of 50 jobs.

Harlech Food Service is planning to relocate its food distribution business and 70 staff to the Llanystumdwy Agri-Park, having just acquired a six-acre site from Gwynedd Council.

Nichols has sold its Balmoral hot beverage systems business to the Autobar Group for £6.5m, in order to focus on soft drinks.

Tayto has bought the Golden Wonder Pringles Mini factory in Corby out of administration for undisclosed terms, securing the future of 195 jobs.

Canterbury Foods has been bought out of administration by a former management team for about £7m, securing the future of about 200 jobs at sites in Bridgend and Kent.

Enotria, the London-based wine importer, has been acquired by Isis Equity Partners for £8.2m.

Diageo is to invest £9m in the expansion of its drinks plant in Leven, Fife, including the installation of a new bottling line for Tanqueray gin and the creation of 22 jobs.