Irish Merger Could Create €300m Firm

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Irish Merger Could Create €300m Firm

Irish Merger Could Create €300m Firm
May 31
08:21 2011

Valeo Foods’ have proposed a takeover of the Jacob Fruitfield business. This would make it one of the largest indigenous players in the Irish ambient grocery sector, with No.1 or No. 2 positions in 13 of the 100 largest grocery categories in Ireland.

This does not include agency brands such as the General Mills range, and demonstrates the depth of ambient penetration that the enlarged company would have in the event of the deal being completed.
While news of the proposed takeover broke this weekend in the Sunday Business Post, speculation has been rife in the trade that a deal was imminent.

In particular, with Jacob Fruitfield are said to have been open to offers for a number of years. Sources had indicated that it was a likely target once Valeo completed the integration of the Batchelors business unit into Shamrock/Valeo.

A number of other companies are said to have run the rule over the Jacobs business in recent times, with the company seen within the industry as firmly within the ‘buy or be bought’ camp for a number of years.
As it stands, Valeo’s business already includes category leaders such as Roma, Batchelors Beans and Odlums, while the Jacob Fruitfield portfolio includes the largest biscuit brand in Ireland (and the ninth largest overall grocery brand in the country) and the powerhouse Chef sauce brand.

With the Jacob Fruitfield turnover running at around €80 million, a takeover would create a company with sales of circa €300 million. As such, this would require approval from the competition authority.
Co-owned by Origin Enterprises (part of Aryzta) and London-based private equity firm CapVest, Valeo comprises what were the Shamrock Foods, Odlums and Batchelors businesses.

The company is run by former Origin Food head Peadar Kearney, with ex Batchelors finance director Aidan O’Byrne holding the position of CFO.

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