ABP Food Group to buy remaining 50% of Linden Foods

ABP Food Group has announced that it has reached an agreement with Fane Valley Co-op to buy the remaining 50% of the Linden Food Group it does not currently own.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, covers Linden Foods in Northern Ireland and the Slaney Foods and Irish Country Meats (ICM) businesses in the Republic of Ireland.

The businesses have been operating as an ABP/Fane Valley joint venture for the past five years.

See also: ABP buys lamb processor Janan meats

The Linden Foods Group processes and manufactures beef, lamb, pork and chicken, with facilities including Dungannon (Northern Ireland), Burradon (England) and Kettyle Irish Foods (Fermanagh).

The latest set of accounts for Linden Foods Ltd showed a pre-tax profit of £1.6m, with a turnover of more than £200m and staff of more than 1,000.

A statement released by Fane Valley Co-op said the businesses will continue to operate under their respective trading names for the foreseeable future, and the sites will continue to operate as normal.

No financial details of the deal have been disclosed.

Build on success

Frank Stephenson, chief executive of ABP, said “This development is the direct result of our successful joint venture arrangement, which has enabled all parties to improve their offerings to customers and to compete more effectively nationally and internationally.

“The time is now right to build on this success, ensuring that we continue to be a dynamic and innovative organisation as we face into the challenges of operating in a very competitive global marketplace; whilst also addressing the ongoing challenges of changing agricultural policies, Brexit and Covid-19.”

Trevor Lockhart, chief executive of Fane Valley, added: “The Linden, Slaney and ICM businesses have progressed positively during our joint venture relationship with ABP.

“The trading environment, however, does not stand still, and all businesses need to continue to evolve and develop to maintain their competitive position in the market.”

The agreement to buy Linden Foods follows a deal struck last month for ABP to buy West Midlands lamb processor Janan Meats.