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Ter Beke Assumes Control of KK Fine Foods in the UK

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Ter Beke Assumes Control of KK Fine Foods in the UK

Ter Beke Assumes Control of KK Fine Foods in the UK
September 28
10:12 2017

Ter Beke, the Belgian fresh food group, has acquired 90% of the shares in KK Fine Foods, the UK manufacturer of fresh ready made meals which are sold in the food service and retail markets as frozen products. The remaining 10% of KK Fine Foods will remain in the hands of existing shareholders. The takeover gives Ter Beke a firm foothold in the UK market, the largest of its kind for ready meals in Europe. The valuation of KK Fine Foods was done at standard multiples in the ready meals business.

With a turnover of £36.2 million (€39.3 million) in 2016, KK Fine Foods is a major player in the ready meals market. It occupies a strong position in the UK market. The company enjoys a double digit growth every year.

Samir Edwards, managing director of KK Fine Foods; and Leyla Edwards, chief executive and founder of KK Fine Foods.

The current chief executive and founder, Leyla Edwards, started the company in 1987 after having devised a number of new recipes and dishes, which she later went on to sell. Her passion for cooking and working with chefs is indelibly etched in the DNA of KK Fine Foods. The food service business is their biggest target group and the day-to-day interaction between the chefs plays a vital role. The company is run today by her son, Samir Edwards, who will remain in place as managing director after the takeover.

Based at Deeside in Flintshire, Wales, KK Fine Foods recently completed the purchase of a second manufacturing site of 60,000 sq ft adjacent to its existing premises. The initial focus for the joint enterprise will be the design and build of Unit 107 Tenth Avenue over the next 12 months. The investment will allow KK Fine Foods to add an additional £40 million plus of capacity over the next two years.

Dirk Goeminne, chief executive of Ter Beke, comments. “I have met many passionate developers at KK Fine Foods and have had the good fortune of sampling their creations. Their passion for food is exceptional and one that should be nurtured. For that reason we have made a conscious decision for KK Fine Foods to continue operating independently. The takeover offers us a great opportunity to capitalise on the potential of KK Fine Foods by offering their products on the European mainland, and vice versa. To a degree, our product ranges are complementary. The most important products are lasagne and pasta dishes and that is a perfect tie-in with the current core range of products at Ter Beke. For Ter Beke, food service is another area which is ripe for exploitation and provides us with the perfect springboard on which to develop as a group.”

Ter Beke currently mainly specialise in the production and sale of processed meat products and chilled ready meals, prepared at one of its ten industrial locations in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Poland and the United Kingdom. Ter Beke has some 2,300 employees. Ter Beke has been listed on Euronext Brussels since 1986 and in 2016 realised a turnover of €418.6 million.

Samir Edwards, managing director of KK Fine Foods, says; “The exciting thing for myself and the team is that we can continue to service our existing customers’ needs and provide them with the benefits of the additional capacity that we intend to build into the business over the next 12 months. Innovation and creativity really have been the cornerstone of KK’s successes to date and we intend on keeping this firm focus on where consumers want to go with their next meal. Working with Ter Beke will allow us to invest into our core business, using the knowledge and experience that they have built up over many years within the pasta category, whilst also allowing us to accelerate our capital expenditure plans to ensure that we can react to a buoyant marketplace.”

The acquisition of KK Fine Foods is in line with Ter Beke’s growth ambitions. In July this year, Ter Beke took over French-based Stefano Toselli and also assumed full control of Pasta Food Company, based in Poland. As a result, turnover figures increased by €80 million on an annual basis. The acquisition of KK Fine Foods means that the Ready Meals division will be able to consolidate its position and extend its geographical reach.

Furthermore, Ter Beke also plant to take over the Fresh Foods business unit at the Zwanenberg Food Group (Cebeco Meats Products Nederland). This would mean a €130.6 million expansion for its Processed Meats division. Ter Beke intends to harness the strategic strengths of both its Processed Meats and Ready Meals divisions.

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