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Food & Drink - 2007






















Donatantonio, the Hertfordshire-based food ingredients importer, has undergone a management buy-out backed by Beringea and Venture Structured Finance for undisclosed terms.

Lamb Weston is in discussions with Fenland District Council about plans to set up a £20m food processing plant in Wisbech, with the creation of up to 130 jobs.

Zetar is to acquire Lir Chocolates, the Irish manufacturer of luxury confectionery with 120 staff, for up to £5.7m, in order to expand its Kinnerton subsidiary.

BaxterStorey is planning to acquire the Holroyd Howe contract catering business and the Benugo chain of delicatessens, creating a combined group with annual turnover of almost £250m.

Maximuscle, the Watford-based sports nutrition company, has been acquired by newly-formed buy-out firm Darwin for £75m.

Greencore has acquired The Ministry of Cake, the Taunton-based frozen cakes manufacturer, as well as Danone's mineral water facility in Blaen Twyni, for a total £15m.

Cains, the Liverpool-based brewer, is looking to invest up to £5m in the expansion of its pub estate.

Brunch Box, the Belfast-based sandwich supplier with 40 staff, has undergone a management buy-in backed by private equity firm Beltrae Partners.

J Rainford & Sons of Chorley has merged with WA McHardy & Son of Milnthorpe to create a combined Lancashire-based egg supply business with 45 staff.

Lees Foods has acquired Patisserie UK, the Livingston-based bakery and dessert manufacturer with 50 staff, for up to £2.5m.

Tayto has acquired Sirhowy Valley Foods, the Gwent-based snacks manufacturer with 132 staff.

First Milk is considering plans to build a new cheese and whey manufacturing plant on the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll.

Produce World has acquired Marshalls Holdings, the Lincolnshire-based fruit and vegetable supplier with sites in Butterwick, Kirton and Spain, for undisclosed terms, creating a combined group with 1,200 staff.

Northern Foods has acquired Ethnic Cuisine, the Swansea-based ready meals manufacturer with 350 staff, for undisclosed terms.

Scottish & Newcastle is to sell its Elidis drinks wholesale business in France to C10 for £85m, and is also planning to close a lager bottling plant in Reading with the loss of 40 jobs.

Quality Kernels, the Brierley Hill-based supplier of nuts, seeds and dried fruits, has been acquired by Matthews Group of Harrogate for undisclosed terms.

Unilever is to sell its Lawry's and Adolph's seasonings and marinades business in the US and Canada to McCormick for £290m.

Tyrrells Potato Chips is to invest £5m in advertising and the development of a vodka distillery at its site in Herefordshire.

Hain Celestial is to create 65 new jobs at its frozen foods factory in Fakenham, following the relaunch of the Linda McCartney range.

Unilever is to sell its Boursin cheese brand to Le Groupe Bel of France for £278m.

Glisten has acquired Snacks Unlimited of London and Lindum Snacks of Lincolnshire for £1.5m, with the transfer of 34 staff.

R Rossa & Sons, the Leicester-based ice cream manufacturer, has been brought out of administration by a new company called Rossa Dairy Products, securing the future of 21 jobs.

Peter's Food Service, the Caerphilly-based pastry products manufacturer with 640 staff, has undergone a £20m management buy-out backed by NBGI Private Equity.

Goodlife has secured funding of £0.4m to expand production at its vegetarian meals factory in Warrington.

The Greenery of Huntingdon is to sell five wholesale fruit and vegetable operations in Gateshead, Manchester, Glasgow, Bristol and Birmingham to Total Produce for about £1m, with the transfer of 80 staff.

Diageo is investing about £120m in the expansion of its distillery and other facilities in Scotland, including the Cameronbridge grain site in Fife, bottling capacity in Glasgow and various warehouse sites.

Bakkavor has acquired Welcome Food Ingredients, the Nottinghamshire-based sauce manufacturer with 115 staff, for undisclosed terms.

Nestle is to invest £10m in the expansion of its Nescafe cappuccino and creamers factory at Dalston in Cumbria over the next two years.

George Adams & Sons, the Spalding-based meat products manufacturer, is to be acquired by Tulip of Denmark for undisclosed terms, creating a combined group with about 9,000 staff.

Linden Foods has acquired W&K Holdings, the operator of abattoirs in North Tyneside and Gateshead, for undisclosed terms, securing the future of 60 jobs.

Finsbury Food has acquired Anthony Alan Foods, the Barnsley-based supplier of low-fat cakes, for up to £3.7m.

Telford & Wrekin Council is to consider plans from NOM Dairy of Austria to build a new £40m dairy factory at Donnington Wood Business Park in Telford, with the creation of at least 100 jobs.

Gate Gourmet has acquired International Aviation Services and Fernley for undisclosed terms, creating a new in-flight catering and services group called Gate Aviation Services.

Intertek has acquired Biodata, the German food, environmental and agricultural laboratory with 32 staff, for £2.5m.

Vendia Group has secured a £4.5m investment to fund the expansion of its healthy snacks and drinks vending business, which includes Corby-based Integer.

Elisabeth the Chef, the Warwickshire-based baked goods and desserts manufacturer, has been acquired by Senoble of France.

Spencers Drinks, the Swadlincote-based alcopop drinks manufacturer, has been bought out of administration by a new firm called Belarus Bottling, securing the future of 20 jobs.

Fresca Group is to set up a £80m fruit and vegetable growing and packing facility on the 91-hectare Thanet Earth site at Birchington in Kent over the next year, with the creation of 550 jobs.

Country Style Foods has acquired the former RHM frozen desserts business from Premier Foods, including a 50,000 sq ft factory at Flint in North Wales.

Poupart is to acquire Norton Folgate, the Spalding-based cherry importer.

West Lakes Dairy Park has announced plans to build a £50m dairy factory at Kingmoor Park in Carlisle next year, with the creation of at least 70 jobs.

Symington's, the Leeds-based food manufacturer, is to be acquired by a management team backed by Hermes Private Equity for about £40m.

Tanfield Food is planning to double the workforce at its ready meals factory in Consett to 60 over the next 12 months.

Wallaces Express has acquired two drinks distribution depots in Dunfermline and Kintore from Woodrow's, creating a combined group with six depots and 230 staff.

Forward Foods has acquired Charlie's Larder, the fine food supplier, in order to expand its wholesaling operations in East Anglia.

Robert Wiseman Dairies is to open its new £66m dairy at Bridgwater in Somerset in December, with the creation of up to 500 jobs.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is to consider plans from 3663 to set up a food distribution centre on the Transfesa Industrial Estate, with the creation of up to 300 jobs.

Glisten has acquired Dormen Foods, the Swindon-based savoury snacks manufacturer, for an initial £7.5m.

Smedleys Salads is seeking permission to expand its factory at Pinchbeck near Spalding, which could eventually create up to 80 jobs.

Glendale Frozen Foods has merged with Supreme Foods to create a combined Salford-based frozen foods manufacturing group with 130 staff.

Pepsico is to relocate 175 Leicester-based staff to a new £15m snack foods research and development site in Beaumont Leys next July.

LE Pritchitt is to invest £6.6m in the expansion of its dairy processing factory at Newtownards in Northern Ireland, in order to secure the future of 168 jobs and create up to 20 new jobs.

Compass is to create about 100 jobs at its Aberdeen-based Ess Support Services business over the next few months, due to rising demand for its offshore catering and facilities management services.

Bakkavor of Iceland has acquired Exotic Farm Produce, the Lincolnshire-based vegetable supplier, for undisclosed terms.

Greencore is to expand production at its prepared meals factory in Wisbech by 50% in October, with the creation of 40 jobs.

Associated British Foods is to invest £70m in a sugar beet processing business with Tian Lu in the North East of China.

Carmarthenshire Council is to consider plans from Red Dragon Water to build a mineral water bottling plant near Llanllwni, with the creation of 19 jobs.

Tio is to invest £2.5m in the expansion of its organic vegetables production facility in Forres, with the creation of up to 20 jobs over the next few months.

Culina is to set up a new 191,000 sq ft food and drink distribution centre in Haverhill next year, with the creation of up to 350 jobs.

Pinguin Foods has acquired the frozen vegetable processing business of Christian Salvesen for £17m, including three sites in Lincolnshire.

Gressingham Foods has bought Manor Farm Ducklings of Norfolk out of administration for undisclosed terms.

Kate's Cakes, the West Sussex-based cake manufacturer with 470 staff, has been acquired by CSM of Denmark for £32m.

Pets Choice, the Blackburn-based pet food manufacturer with 150 staff, has undergone a management buy-out for an estimated £1m.

Young's has acquired The Seafood Company, the owner of Anchor Seafood and Cromer Crab with annual sales of £70m, from Fishery Products International.

Underwood Meat Company has acquired Northern Catering, the Sheffield-based butchery.

Bomford Group's administrators have saved 1,456 jobs at the vegetable supplier with the sale of the farming division to Sandfields Farms, the Atherstone pack house to The Veg Table and Pershore-based Bomfords Prepared to Keelings.

Wynnstay has acquired T&M Williams, the West Wales-based agricultural supplies distributor, for £0.3m, as well as Westhope Livestock Supplies of Herefordshire for £0.3m.

Meridian Foods has acquired a pasta sauces and spreads factory with 13 staff at Corwen in Denbighshire from Greencore for undisclosed terms.

Archers, the Swindon-based brewery with 20 staff, has been bought out of administration by a local businessman for undisclosed terms.

WG Buchanan is to relocate to a new 25,000 sq ft food processing factory at Invest NI's Trooperslane Business Park in Carrickfergus by October, with the creation of 15 jobs.

Inter Link Foods, the Blackburn-based cake manufacturer with 12 sites and 1,800 staff, has been bought out of administration by McCambridge of Ireland for about £75m.

William Thompson, the York-based animal feed company with 47 staff, has undergone a management buy-out for undisclosed terms.

Tate & Lyle is to sell its European starch operations to Tereos of France for £209m, including sites in the UK, Belgium, France, Spain and Italy.

Hill Station has acquired So Real Ice Company, the Kent-based ice cream manufacturer, for £0.8m.

Muller is to submit plans to expand its dairy operations in Market Drayton with new manufacturing, storage and distribution facilities, which could create up to 300 jobs.

Cadbury Schweppes has acquired Southeast Atlantic Beverage Corp, the US drinks bottler, for undisclosed terms.

Marston's has acquired Ringwood Brewery, the Hampshire-based brewery with seven pubs, for £19m.

Premier Foods is to invest £35m in the development of a new fermentation unit at its Marlow Foods meat substitutes factory in Billingham over the next two years.

Sangs, the Banff-based soft drinks manufacturer with 73 staff, has been acquired by two Glasgow-based businessmen for more than £10m.

Greenvale has acquired Swancote Foods, the Telford-based potato processing company with 50 staff.

Greencore has acquired Sushi San, the Liverpool-based supplier of own-label and branded sushi products.

Cumbrian Seafoods has confirmed plans to create 300 jobs over the next three years at a new £10m seafood factory due to open in Seaham in August.

Camerons Brewery of Hartlepool has sold nine depots across northern England to Coors, with the transfer of 85 staff, in order to focus on the expansion of its pub estate from 55 to at least 200 sites.

Highgate Brewery, the Walsall-based brewery with 25 staff and nine pubs, is to be acquired by Pubco Global Star of Smethwick, and up to £3m will be invested at the site.

Croda International has sold its Oldham-based food services business, which supplies products to the bakery sector, to AAK UK for £7.4m.

British Salt, the salt supplier with 125 staff in Middlewich, has undergone a £100m management buy-out backed by private equity firm LDC.

Hartridges is planning to relocate production of soft drinks from Hambledon, Hampshire, to an undisclosed site, with the loss of six jobs.

Brakes, the food distributor with 8,500 staff, has been acquired by US private equity firm Bain Capital for £877m.

Unilever has sold its Brazilian margarine brands and some machinery to Perdigao for about £20m.

Searcy, the upmarket catering and restaurant company, has been acquired by Alternative Hotel Group for about £30m.

Harlow Council has approved plans from Riverway Foods to set up a new sausage factory at the Harlow Business Park.

The Sea Fish Industry Authority is considering plans to relocate its Hull headquarters and 35 staff to the Europarc site in Grimsby.

Veetee Rice is looking to expand the workforce at its factory in Strood from 200 to more than 400, if demand for its rice-based ready meals meets expectations.

Cadbury Schweppes is to acquire Sansei Foods, the Japanese functional candy company, for about £57m.

Real Good Food Company has sold Five Star Fish, its Grimsby-based frozen fish products business, to British Seafood for £35m, in order to focus on sugar and ingredients.

Cadbury Schweppes is to acquire Kandia-Excelent, the Romanian confectionery manufacturer, for about £60m.

Cadbury Schweppes is to acquire Intergum, the Turkish gum manufacturer, for £225m.

Scot Lad, the owner of the Joseph Mitchell poultry business with 153 staff in Angus and Challenger Foods of Sunderland, has been acquired by 2 Sisters Food Group of West Bromwich for undisclosed terms.

Skeltons, the Hull-based bakery, has been bought out of administration by Cooplands of Scarborough, securing the future of 477 jobs and 34 shops.

Cadbury Schweppes has sold a further three non-core operations, with HJ Heinz acquiring its Australian jams business for £29m, a new company acquiring its Canadian candy business for £10m, and Leaf Italia acquiring its Italian confectionery business for £6m.

Cromer Crab Company is expected to be sold by Canadian parent Fishery Products International to an unnamed company.

Alpha Airports, the in-flight caterer and duty-free retailer, is to be acquired by Autogrill of Italy for £195m.

Cadbury Schweppes is said to be planning to relocate its London headquarters and up to 200 staff from Mayfair to Uxbridge.

Torbay Council has selected Dean & Dyball as preferred contractor for the development of a £16m fish market and maritime employment centre in Brixham, which will create 360 jobs.

Northern Foods is to invest £9.2m in the expansion of its Solways Foods salad ready meals factory in Corby over the next few months, securing the future of the 700-strong workforce.

Associated British Foods has acquired Patak's, the Lancashire-based supplier of Asian foods, for an estimated initial price of £100m.

Simpsons Malt is to invest £12m in the expansion of its maltings plant in Berwick by October 2008.

Zetar has acquired Britannia, the Teesside-based baked snacks manufacturer, for an initial £4.7m, in order to expand its Baked Snacks Company subsidiary.

Cranswick has sold its Cranswick Mill pig feed business in East Yorkshire to BOCM Pauls for undisclosed terms, with the transfer of 40 staff.

Pride Valley Foods, the County Durham-based flat-breads manufacturer with 300 staff, has been acquired by Gruma SA for £20m.

Charlton House has acquired Chester Boyd, the London-based contract caterer with 228 staff at 14 venues, for undisclosed terms.

Whyte & Mackay, the Glasgow-based distiller with 650 staff, is to be acquired by United Breweries of India for £595m.

Aberdeenshire Council is to consider plans from Duncan Taylor & Co for the development of a £3.5m distillery at Huntly, which would create 12 jobs.

Britvic is to acquire the soft drinks division of C&C for £170m, including bottled water and fizzy drink brands in Ireland.

Compass is to sell its Selecta vending business to Allianz Capital Partners for £772m, including 150,000 vending machines in 22 countries.

Honeycombe Leisure is planning to acquire Robert Cain, the Liverpool-based brewery, in a reverse takeover that will enable Cains to sell its beers in the Honeycombe chain of 100 pubs in the North West.

Seabay Quickfish, the Grimsby-based fish processing company, has been bought out of administration by Seven Seas Foods for undisclosed terms.

ISS Mediclean has acquired Caterhouse, the contract caterer with 850 staff at more than 200 schools in London and the South East, for undisclosed terms.

Whitby Seafoods has acquired Middleton Seafoods, the Northern Ireland-based supplier of frozen seafood to both the retail and catering sectors, for undisclosed terms.

Baxters has acquired CanGro Soup, the Canadian soup manufacturer, from CanGro Foods for undisclosed terms.

Expomedia has acquired World Food Market, the ethnic foods exhibition hosted at London's ExCel Centre, for an initial £0.3m.

Aquabella is to invest £5m in the expansion of its barramundi fish farm facilities in Hampshire, including 20 new production tanks.

Burton's Foods has won planning permission for the 284,000 sq ft expansion of its biscuit factory in Edinburgh.

William Stephen is to relocate the headquarters of its Dunfermline-based bakery to a new 32,000 sq ft site nearby in January 2008.

Robert Wiseman Dairies is to create 100 jobs at a new £4.5m dairy depot due to open in Market Drayton in June.

Dunbia of Ireland is to acquire the Kepak Group abattoir and meat packing site at Walton Summit near Preston, while Kepak will take over Dunbia's abattoir in Kilbeggan near Galway.

Tate & Lyle is to acquire an 80% stake in GC Hahan, the German supplier of food ingredients, for £79m.

Greggs is planning to build a new £16m 75,000 sq ft bakery in Openshaw, in order to relocate from its existing site in east Manchester, and construction work will start in autumn.

Nichols has acquired Cariel Soft Drinks, the Dunblane-based soft drinks manufacturer with annual turnover of £1.7m, for undisclosed terms.

Hilton Food is planning a £110m flotation next month to raise funds for the expansion of its meat packing business.

Alpine Foods, the Dundee-based vegetable processing company, has been bought out of administration by WP Bruce and East Coast Viners, securing the future of 20 jobs.

Brambles Foods, the sandwich maker, has been sold by NBGI Private Equity to Heathrow-based Food Partners for £22m.

Young's Seafood is to create up to 50 new jobs at its new £10m Macrae Edinburgh seafood factory in Livingston.

Premier Foods has sold MBM Produce, its Norfolk-based fresh produce division, to a management team operating under the name of Abbanoy Produce.

Grove Fresh, the Surrey-based supplier of organic juices, has been acquired by Wellness Foods for about £9m.

House of Dorchester has submitted plans to West Dorset District Council for a 26,000 sq ft extension to its chocolate factory in Poundbury.

Dansco, the Carmarthenshire-based cheese manufacturer, is to be acquired by Saputo of Canada for £5.3m, securing the future of 130 jobs.

Scotbeef is looking to double the 170-strong workforce at its new £17m meat processing factory in Glasgow over the next two years.

Oakdale Bakeries has sold its cake factories in Wigan and Doncaster out of administration to BakeSense Bakeries of Wilmslow, securing the future of 250 jobs.

Constellation Europe is planning to set up a new £50m 870,000 sq ft drinks warehouse and bottling plant at Avonmouth, Bristol, by mid-2009, with the creation of 100 jobs.

Carlisle City Council is to approve plans for the £10m expansion of the Cavaghan & Gray ready meals factory at Durranhill, with the creation of up to 100 jobs.

Burton's Foods, the biscuit manufacturer with 3,000 staff and four factories, is to be acquired by Duke Street Capital for an estimated £210m.

Edrington Group has submitted outline plans to Moray Council to build up to six new warehouses at The Macallan distillery on Speyside.

Duchy Catering has bought the assets of Leamington Spa-based Hopkinson Catering out of administration, securing the future of 700 jobs.

Direct Table Foods has won planning permission from St Edmundsbury Borough Council for the £6m expansion of its bacon factory on the Saxham Business Park, which could create up to 130 jobs.

Findel is to sell its Home Farm Hampers business, which has 7,500 agents and a £8m order book, to Park Group for £0.3m.

Bruichladdich has announced plans to rebuild the Port Charlotte distillery on Islay with the creation of ten jobs, at a cost of about £3m.

Nature's Way Marketing, the Chichester-based fresh food wholesaler, has been bought out of administration by a joint venture between Hilliard Bros and Premier Fruits, securing the future of 50 jobs.

Stream Foods, the Wisbech-based fruit snacks supplier, has been acquired by Wellness Foods for an estimated £15m.

Pan Fish Scotland has acquired Highland Fish Farmers, the owner of fish farms on Loch Torridon, Loch Carron, Loch Ness and Skye, for £4.1m.

Ferrari's Bakery, the operator of 60 South Wales bakeries, has been bought out of administration by Best Bakeries, but the Swansea-based Celtic Savouries division will close with the loss of 20 jobs.

Ross's Pickles, the Newcastle-based manufacturer of own-brand food products, has had its assets bought out of administration by Greencore, but all 37 jobs have been lost.

HP Bulmer is re-opening the cider bottling line at its Plough Lane factory in Hereford, with the creation of 42 jobs.

Covent Garden Market Authority has outlined plans for the redevelopment of its 56-acre fresh produce market in London, which would involve moving some of the 250 tenants into two-storey buildings.

James Finlay, the tea trader, is to relocate its headquarters and up to 15 jobs from Glasgow to London later this year.

Diageo is planning to build a £80m whisky distillery at Roseisle near the Moray Firth by 2009, while £20m will be invested in bottling and warehouse facilities, with the creation of 200 jobs.

Frozen Herbs of Suffolk has been bought out of administration by the Dujardin Foods Group of Belgium, securing the future of 46 jobs.

Tate & Lyle has sold its Redpath sugar refining business in Canada to American Sugar Refining for £132m.

South Holland District Council has approved plans from Woodhead Bros to double the size of its abattoir at Pinchbeck, near Spalding, with the creation of 300 jobs.

C&K Meats has won planning permission to build a £3m abattoir at the Mid Suffolk Business Park in Eye, with the creation of 30 jobs.

Venteco has acquired SIK Valiguard, the Swedish specialist in food industry hygiene and safety certification, from the Swedish Institute of Food & Biotechnology.

Elior UK has won a £92m contract to provide catering and facilities management services to the Ministry of Defence in the South West, which will involve the employment of 1,200 staff by its Avenance division.

HIE Caithness & Sutherland is to help fund plans by new company Caithness Beef & Lamb to build a £2.3m abattoir in Keiss, near Wick.

Finsbury Food is to acquire Lightbody, the Hamilton-based cake manufacturer with about 1,000 staff, for £37m.

Tetley is creating 11 new management jobs at its tea factory on Teesside, as part of a reorganisation aimed at doubling company turnover over the next five years.

Paramount 21 is investing £1.2m in the development of a new seafood and vegetarian products factory in Newton Abbot.

Atchison Topeka is to set up a 130,000 sq ft food distribution centre at Stonebridge Cross business park in Droitwich Spa.

Union Snack, the County Durham-based snacks manufacturer with 170 staff, has been acquired by Intersnack of Germany.

Premier Foods is planning to expand three factories in Wisbech, Worksop and Long Sutton, but sites in King's Lynn and Ashford will close with the possible loss of up to 400 jobs.

Elphinstone is to sell the Scottish livestock division of United Auctions to a management buy-out for undisclosed terms.

Brodies, the Edinburgh-based coffee and tea merchant with 30 staff, has been acquired by Massimo Zanetti of Switzerland for undisclosed terms.

Scottish & Newcastle is to sell its Courage beers business to Wells & Young's Brewing for an estimated £10m, and production will transfer from Tadcaster to Bedford over the next few months.

Churchill's Handmade Sandwich Company of Nottingham has been bought out of administration by a management team, securing the future of 65 jobs.

Redbridge Holdings, the Peterborough-based fresh produce company with 668 staff, has been acquired by Total Produce for up to £12m.

Kraft Foods is planning to relocate its European headquarters from London and Vienna to Switzerland over the next two years.