Premier Foods sells Irish brands

Posted on 16 Dec 2011

Boyne Valley Group has bought Chivers jams, Gateaux cakes, McDonnells noodles and the licence for Erin soups from Premier Foods in a deal worth €41.4 m (£34.8 m).

Premier Foods and The Boyne Valley Group have entered into manufacturing agreements whereby Premier Foods will continue to manufacture the Irish Brands division for three years.

John Harkin, chief executive officer, The Boyne Valley Group, said: “We are pleased to be acquiring these strong and well established Irish Brands with a loyal customer base.”

“With additional investment, we believe we can grow these brands further,” added Mr Harkin, “they fit well within our existing food portfolio which includes olive oil, relishes, home-baking and honey.”

The brands recorded a turnover of €29.5 m (£24.8 m) in the year up to December 31st 2010, and had assets worth €39.2 m (£33 m), but have been sold in order to cut Premier Foods’ level of debt.

The deal comes as Premier Foods seeks to focus investment behind eight “power brands”, including, Hovis, Lloyd Grossman, Batchelor’s, Ambrosia and Mr Kipling.

As part of this strategy, the company sold its chilled food division Brookes Avana to Ranjit Boparan’s 2 Sisters Food Group for £30m last week.

Commenting on the proposed sale, Michael Clarke, chief executive officer at Premier Foods said: “The sale of these Irish Brands will enable us to focus on supporting our Power Brands in line with our overall strategy.”

“Coming hard on the heels of the announcement of the Brookes Avana sale agreement, this underlines our determination to streamline the business to help restore profitable growth quickly.”