Premier Foods to sell canned food business to Princes

Food and drink group Princes has agreed to buy the canning operations of UK company Premier Foods in a deal worth £182 million (US$292.8m).

Under the terms of the agreement, which is subject to Premier Foods’ shareholder and regulatory approval, Premier Foods’ sites at Long Sutton and Wisbech would transfer to Princes’ ownership. The sites collectively employ more than 1,000 people.

Iconic brands like Branston baked beans and Batchelors canned soups will remain under Premier Foods’ ownership but will be licensed to Princes on a long-term arrangement at the sites.
Liverpool-based Princes would also acquire other household brands like Crosse & Blackwell, Fray Bentos and Farrow’s.

Under any deal, Premier Foods’ Ambrosia branded canned desserts operations in Lifton, Devon, will be retained.

The proposed acquisition expands Princes branded portfolio in the canned foods sector and increases its range of customer own label and branded products.

The products produced at Long Sutton and Wisbech are sold to customers in the retail, food service and industrial sectors.

Following completion of the acquisition, Princes would have annual revenues approaching £1.5 billion (US$2.4bn), 4,500 employees, 13 food and drink production sites and a portfolio of leading brands.

Ken Critchley, Princes managing director, said: “This proposed acquisition is an excellent strategic fit for our group and would enable us to further grow our business in the UK and continental Europe by offering our customers a broader range of ambient food products and brands.”

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