Wednesday, November 17, 2010

News: Greencore to merge with Northern Foods


Leeds-based food manufacturer Northern Foods has agreed to merge with Ireland's Greencore Group to create a combined group with annual sales of around £1.7 billion.

Greencore employ around 3,000 people in Yorkshire and Greencore Prepared Foods at Waleswood in Rotherham prepares quiches, tarts and Weight Watchers Foods.

The deal, which is structured as a merger of equals, will see the creation of a combined business to be named Essenta Foods which will be headquartered in Dublin, the companies said in a statement on Wednesday.

Greencore and Northern Foods shareholders will hold about 50 percent of the combined group.

The companies are targeting cost savings of about £40m per annum to be realised within three years from the merger, which they expect will complete during the second quarter of 2011.

Anthony Hobson, Chairman of Northern Foods, said: "The proposed merger is a great opportunity to develop fully the potential of both companies. It will create a sustainable, top tier organisation which will be capable of delivering best in class food products and innovative solutions to its customers.

"We have a great executive leadership team whose priority is to ensure that we work closely with our employees, our customers and our shareholders to integrate effectively and capture the huge opportunities available."

Patrick Coveney, CEO of Greencore, added: "Essenta Foods presents a compelling opportunity for all stakeholders. It creates a substantial chilled prepared food company in fast growing categories in the UK which is enhanced by strong branded positions in biscuits and frozen food.

"The investment case is underpinned by tangible cost synergies and the platform for further growth in the UK, Ireland and the US. The time is right for both companies to build a real "better than both" business and I look forward to bringing together the teams from Greencore and Northern Foods to deliver on this opportunity."

Northern Foods makes own-label products for retailers as diverse as premium food seller Marks & Spencer and discounter Aldi. Its brands include Goodfella's Pizza and Fox's biscuits. Greencore is one of Britain's biggest sandwich and ready- meals-makers.

The bakery in Rotherham bakes over a hundred thousand quiche a day and uses over 35 million eggs a year

Northern Foods website
Greencore website


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