Thursday, April 22, 2021

Yorkshire protein producer acquired by Canadian counterpart

Canadian protein producer, Sofina Foods, has acquired Yorkshire seafood and pork producer Eight Fifty Food Group for an undisclosed sum.

Private equity firm, CapVest, acquired pork processor Karro Food Group back in 2017. CapVest and Management subsequently acquired Grimsby-based seafood business Young’s Seafood in 2019 to create Eight Fifty Food Group.

Eight Fifty later consolidated five other protein businesses from across Europe to create what is today a leading European multi-protein specialist.

Now, it has been acauired by Sofina Foods, one of Canada’s largest food producers and has a 25-year history of acquisitions, growth and success.

Eight Fifty employs around 8,300 people, across 23 manufacturing sites. The business will remain under the leadership of Di Walker and will complement Sofina Food’s existing leading North American platform. As Europe’s multi-protein specialist, Eight Fifty will continue to provide sustainable, high-quality food products while focussing on growth.

Jason Rodrigues, Partner at CapVest, said: “We’ve created a leading European multi-protein business through a combination of strategic investment in our core asset base and complementary acquisitions of fantastic national champions.

“Eight Fifty delivers best-in-class products to our customers and consumers and we are all very proud of what Di Walker and her team have achieved over the last four years. We’re confident that Eight Fifty will continue to flourish under Sofina Food’s ownership.”

Di Walker, CEO of Eight Fifty, said: “We began this journey as a UK-only pork supplier doing less than £500 million in sales and after several years of transformational organic and acquisitive progress are now the European multi-protein specialist with over £2 billion in sales.

“This transaction and the interest in Eight Fifty is a great reflection on the quality of the business and testament to the work that CapVest and our entire management team have completed. We’re very excited to join Sofina Foods to deliver on their ambitious future growth plans.”

Michael Latifi, Founder and Executive Chairman of Sofina Foods, said: “As a leading Canadian multi-protein specialist, this acquisition allows Sofina Foods to continue on our path of ambitious expansion. Sofina Foods is one of Canada’s largest food producers and we have created a solid global foundation for continued growth.

“With a history of excellence in food production and processing spanning over 25 years, the strong brands of Eight Fifty Food Group align perfectly with our prominent brands and our shared future vision.”

The new company will have over 13,000 employees globally across 44 sites and near $6 billion in annual revenue.

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