Baxters enters the fray

Posted on 22 Nov 2011

The Moray-based company has acquired pie-maker Fray Bentos from Princes in a multimillion pound deal.

Manufacturing of Fray Bentos products will transfer to the Baxters site in Fochabers over the next 12 months. The move from East Anglia is set to involve as many as 125 jobs as a result of the takeover.

Baxters is set to invest in new manufacturing facilities at Fochabers in order to switch the manufacture of canned pies and other goods from its current site. Audrey Baxter, chairman, Baxters Food Group, commented: “Manufacturing of the Fray Bentos products will transfer over the next 12 months to our Fochabers production facility. A substantial capital investment programme has also been approved to enable all the plant, machinery and production lines to be housed on-site.”

Fray Bentos was originally founded in 1899 and is best known for its classic range of canned pies including household favourites, Steak & Kidney and Minced Beef & Onion. Baxters plans to invest and develop the brand to extend its reach into the ambient meat market.

Ms Baxter added: “Like Baxters, Fray Bentos is a heritage brand and is known the length and breadth of the country, holding a special place in the hearts of British consumers both young and old. We have many exciting ideas to revitalise the brand as we aim to secure a strong foothold in the canned meat market.”

“As a business we have constantly sought out new opportunities, most recently through successful acquisitions in Canada and Australia and we have also invested in a new-build Polish manufacturing operation,” she continued. “Fray Bentos will provide an array of opportunities to develop our position in the UK market and internationally.”

McQueen, the consumer-sector corporate finance firm, advised Baxters on the transaction.

Tom Moore