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Food & Drink - 2000
Scottish Milk is planning to merge with the Axis farmers co-operative to create a new group called British Milk, which will have 18% of the milk market.
Diageo and Pernod Ricard have agreed to acquire the spirits business of Seagram for £5.54bn, and now plan to sell off the Oddbins off-licence chain and a number of smaller Seagram brands.
Perkins Foods, the manufacturer of chilled and frozen convenience foods, is to undergo a £230m management buy-out with the backing of ABN Amro.
Geest is seeking permission to set up a chilled food manufacturing facility at its site in Barton, North Lincolnshire, with the creation of up to 100 jobs.
United Biscuits is to invest £1.2m in the modernisation of its KP Snacks plant in Consett, which will safeguard more than 200 jobs.
Allied Domecq is to acquire two leading champagne houses - Perrier Jouet and GH Mumm - for £348m, and has also confirmed that it will not bid for Seagram's wine and spirits business.
Granada Compass is planning to double its share of the outsourced global catering market over the next five years, and has also confirmed plans to demerge its media operations in February.
Rayner Food, the flavourings and condiments manufacturer, has undergone a £40m management buy-out.
Kelda has sold ALcontrol Laboratories, the environment and food testing business, to private equity group Bridgepoint Capital for £70m.
Halliday Catering Services is to merge with Wilson Storey to create a leading independent contract catering business called Wilson Storey Halliday Group.
Inter Link Foods is to acquire Hepworth & Whittles, the Dewsbury-based company that trades as Newton House Bakeries, for £4m.
Riverside Foods is planning to set up a smoked seafoods and meats factory at Frizington in Cumbria.
Premier Brands, the tea company, is planning to relocate its support functions, including sales, logistics, marketing, purchasing, finance and systems from Merseyside to Long Sutton or Histon, Cambridgeshire.
Stolt Sea Farm is planning a £1m expansion of its salmon hatchery in the Bays area of the Isle of Harris.
Diageo has announced plans to relocate the sales and marketing operations of Guinness UDV from Harlow to the Guinness brewery site in Park Royal, London, by April 2002.
Tate & Lyle has sold Universal Milling Technology, its milling equipment division, to Andritz of Austria for £5m.
Unilever is to relocate it safety research laboratory from Port Sunlight to Bedford next September, which will affect 60 jobs.
Bernard Matthews, the poultry products group, has agreed terms for a £232m management buy-out.
Dairy Crest is to build a new dairy in the west of England and invest £15m upgrading its Chadwell Heath plant in east London, but other sites in west London and Northern Ireland will be closed.
Newsham Hybrid Pigs has been bought out of receivership by two Yorkshire meat companies - JSR Farms and Wild Pork - saving about 50 jobs.
Hibernia Foods is creating 52 new jobs at its ready meals factory in Hartlepool.
Classic Couverture, the Speke-based chocolate manufacturer with 50 employees, has been acquired by Billington for undisclosed terms.
Mayur Foods has completed a £5m expansion into larger premises in Leicester, in order to produce Indian ethnic breads for supermarket chains.
Geest has acquired Isleport Foods, the Somerset-based cakes supplier, for under £5m.
Hazlewood Foods has agreed to a £258m takeover offer from Greencore of Ireland, and Greencore expects to raise £120m from disposals and to achieve £7m of cost savings from combining the businesses.
Unilever is to locate a new IT centre at Ewloe in Wales, which will involve 200 new jobs and the transfer of 170 jobs from nearby Port Sunlight.
Premier Fresh Foods, the poultry processing company that employs 2,000 workers in the North Lincolnshire region, has been acquired by 2 Sisters Foods of Smethwick for undisclosed terms.
The National Assembly for Wales is supporting plans from a new farmers' co-operative called The Welsh Meat Company to set up two meat processing plants at Horeb in Ceredigion and at Caernarfon in Gwynedd.
Dawnfresh Seafoods is to create about 60 jobs at a new £10m fish factory in Uddingston, which replaces a plant destroyed by fire last year.
Bon Bon Buddies has received a £1.5m investment from 3i in order to finance the expansion of its novelty confectionery business into the US.
Freshpack is looking to recruit up to 30 staff for its new frozen food packing unit in Alsager.
Matthew Clark has acquired Forth Wines, in order to expand its wine wholesaling business in Scotland.
Granada Compass has acquired Beaver Foods, the Canadian contract caterer, for £67m.
Hawes Creamery has acquired North Yorkshire cheese-maker Fountain Dairy Products, in order to increase capacity for the production of its Wensleydale cheese.
Moy Park is to invest £14m in the expansion of its three food factories at Craigavon, Moira and Dungannon, with the creation of up to 200 jobs.
Cadbury Schweppes has acquired Wuxi-Leaf, the Chinese chewing gum company, for £1.6m, and will combine the distribution network with its chocolate business.
Coldwater Seafood is setting up a new company in Grimsby called Coldwater Shellfish, which will produce shellfish for the retail and catering markets.
Pro-Pak Foods is seeking permission from Ryedale District Council to move its chilled foods factory and 140 staff to a larger site in Malton, with the creation of an unspecified number of new jobs.
Associated British Foods is to sell its Burton's Biscuits subsidiary to Hicks Muse Tate & Furst of the US for £130m, in order to focus on products where it has a leading market position.
Hazlewood Foods is to open a 230,000 sq ft bakery in Hull early next year, in order to supply major retailers across Europe.
WD Irwin & Sons is planning to invest £3.4m at its bakery in Portadown with the creation of about 50 jobs.
Anglia Oils, the edible oils company, has acquired Rowallan Creameries of Kilmarnock for undisclosed terms, which is expected to lead to the centralisation of additional work in Hull.
Cadbury Schweppes is to buy out the minority shareholders in its South African subsidiary for £143m and sell its brewing division to South African Breweries for £45m.
Golden Vale is planning to create a further 40 jobs over the next two years at its recently-opened Rye Valley frozen ready meals factory in Enniskillen.
Dailycer is to set up a £4.5m cereal bar factory at the Deeside Industrial Park next year with the creation of 34 jobs, but an existing plant in Chester will be closed.
S&A Foods is to recruit an additional 100 workers at its ready meals factory in Derby.
Colchester Institute is planning to develop a new £5m catering centre to improve facilities for students.
Virgin Wine is planning to invest £10m in its home delivery wine operation, in preparation for a possible flotation in 2002.
Branston Potatoes is investing £1m at its vegetable packing plant in Lincolnshire, with the creation of 50 new jobs.
Unilever has agreed to sell a number of brands - including Oxo, Royco, Lesieur, Bla Bland, Batchelor's and McDonnells - in order to win European approval for its £14bn acquisition of Bestfoods of the US.
Diageo is to sell a Brazilian spirits subsidiary to Campari of Italy for undisclosed terms.
Tate & Lyle has sold its Rumenco animal feeds business to a management buy-in team for undisclosed terms.
Mission Foods is looking to recruit 40 new employees at its tortilla chips factory in Coventry, following a rise in sales.
Cadbury Schweppes has acquired Snapple Beverage Group, the US soft drinks company, for £1.05bn, and is now seeking further acquisitions in the US, Europe and Australia.
Tesco is investing £0.5m in an organic farming research project at Newcastle University, and is already funding a similar scheme at Aberdeen University.
Baynflax, the food machinery company, has undergone a management buy-out for undisclosed terms, and plans to develop into a £30m business through acquisitions and strategic alliances.
East Staffordshire Borough Council has approved plans from Ranks Hovis McDougall for the development of a £30m flour processing plant in Burton, which will create up to 200 jobs.
Inter Link Foods is to build a new bakery in Blackburn, with the creation of up to 150 jobs over the next two years.
Tewkesbury Borough Council is to consider plans from Hamilton's, the chartered surveyors, for the development of a £5.5m livestock market at Innsworth.
Speyside Distillers, the Scottish whisky company with 90 staff, has been sold by Swiss company Scowis to a group of private investors for undisclosed terms.
Eurobuns has awarded a £3.6m contract to Marriott to build a fast-food production and storage facility in Milton Keynes.
Plymouth City Council is considering plans from Direct Wines to build a wine delivery call centre at the new Plymouth International Business Park, with the creation of 260 jobs.
Gordon & Innes, the Moray-based potato company, is being bought out of receivership by Doncaster-based Higgins Group, saving 40 jobs.
Kerry has made a takeover approach for Bush Boake Allen, the US food ingredients company, and has also announced the acquisition of Harald-Industria e Comercio de Alimentos of Brazil and a US chocolate coating company owned by York Dragee.
BGR is planning to open 24 new Fish! restaurants over the next two years, and is in discussions to sell its Signature outlets to a private consortium.
South Derbyshire District Council is to consider plans from Amelca, a new company formed by 150 dairy farmers, to build a £18m dairy products factory at Hilton, with the creation of up to 300 jobs.
Greencore is acquiring Robert's Group, the manufacturer of frozen savoury and dessert products at factories in Leeds and Huddersfield, for £29m.
Scottish & Newcastle has acquired a 49% stake in Central De Cervejas, the Portuguese brewer, for £93m, and will use it as a platform to launch new brands in Portugal.
Bonds Confectionery is setting up a new factory at Huthwaite in Nottinghamshire which will secure 72 jobs, as its previous site in Annesley was too large.
Greencore has announced plans to set up a £13m Canadian Pizza factory on Deeside, north Wales, with the creation of 230 jobs.
Mighty Oak Brewing Company is looking to relocate its small Essex brewery from Hutton to a larger facility at nearby Maldon.
Cavaghan & Gray has won approval to start building a £5.5m frozen food factory in Carlisle in January, as part of a reorganisation of its facilities.
Golden Wonder, the crisps company, is expected to be acquired by private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital for £110m, and the business is expected to be expanded through acquisition.
GBL International has relocated its drinks distribution business from Chesterfield to Clay Cross, following the success of its range of vodka drinks.
S&A Foods has won planning permission to build an ethnic meals factory on the Lymedale business park in Newcastle-under-Lyme, but alternative sites around the country are also being considered.
Golden Vale is to expand production at its Rye Valley frozen ready meals plant in Co Fermanagh over the next two years, with the creation of 80 jobs.
Tanner Foods has acquired the long-life milk business of Lancashire Dairies, and production will be moved to its site in Essex.
Tomkins has agreed to sell its Ranks Hovis McDougall food business to private equity firm Doughty Hanson for about £1.1bn, in order to focus on its engineering business.
Bakery Services is planning to expand across the north and midlands following the acquisition of Don Miller's franchised bakeries.
Roche is investing £30m at its vitamin C plant at Dalry in Ayrshire, which will involve new equipment and the creation of 25 jobs.
R Croan & Sons is looking to recruit 300 workers at its smoked seafoods factory in Edinburgh.
Diageo has confirmed plans to merge its Pillsbury food division with General Mills of the US and to combine its UDV spirits business with its Guinness brewing division, in order to focus the group on alcoholic drinks.
Expatshopping.com is creating 30 new jobs in York, having won a contract with British Forces Post Offices to send food products to overseas bases.
Brake Bros is to acquire Cearns & Brown, the Cheshire-based foodservice wholesaler, for £24m.
Associated British Foods has bought the polyols business of Lonza for undisclosed terms, in order to expand its US-based SPI Polyols division.
Unilever is to sell European Bakery Supplies Business to CSM of the Netherlands for £440m, and is now said be looking to sell the recently-acquired Bestfoods consumer bakery division.
Britvic has acquired Orchid Drinks, the Hartlepool-based producer of herb-based drinks, for about £20m.
Albert Fisher has sold Van Soest, its Dutch cold storage and frozen vegetables subsidiary, to management for £6.1m.
Tomos Watkin has opened its new brewery in Swansea, as part of a £10m expansion that will create 150 jobs over the next five years.
Northern Foods has sold its Irish food service and frozen food distribution business to IAWS for £16m, in order to allow its Green Isle Foods division to focus on the development of frozen food retail brands.
Tomkins is to sell Red Wing, the US manufacturer of grocery products, to Ralcorp for £88m.
Peter's Food Service has acquired Green Country Foods, the Cardiff-based sandwich manufacturer, for undisclosed terms.
Moorland Poultry of Dalton has undergone a management buy-out for undisclosed terms.
Peter Hunt's Bakery Foods is to invest £2.5m to expand output, due to rising demand for own label savoury products.
Bass has agreed to sell its brewing operations to Interbrew of Belgium for £2.3bn, and the proceeds will be invested in its pubs, hotels and restaurants.
Nelson Hind, the catering company that operates 250 restaurants and corporate dining rooms, has been acquired by Elior of France for undisclosed terms.
SmithKline Beecham is investing £6m in a new bottling centre for Lucozade and Ribena at its Forest of Dean factory.
Authentic Food Company is planning to build a £10m ethnic food factory near Manchester Airport.
Tate & Lyle is selling its Australian sugar business to Societe Financiere des Sucres of Belgium for £165m, as part of a reorganisation that will also see it pay £274m to buy out minority shareholders in its Amylum and Staley starch business.
Unilever is to acquire Bestfoods of the US for £13.4bn, creating the second largest global food business after Nestle.
Nottingham City Council is supporting plans for the development of a new business park dedicated to food companies on a six acre site at Southglade.
Unigate is looking to spend up to £300m on acquisitions to expand its convenience foods and logistics business, and is considering plans to change its name following the recent sale of its dairy business.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council is considering plans from Heron Frozen Foods for the development of a new headquarters and warehouse at North Cave, which will create 31 jobs.
Hart Worldwide has opened a £3m apple and pear packing facility in Peterborough, with the creation of 100 jobs.
Hazlewood Foods is to relocate its sandwich factory and offices in Worksop to a new £20m purpose-built facility in October, with the creation of 300 jobs.
Duke Street Capital, the private equity firm, has acquired full control of Marie Brizard, the French drinks company, in a deal worth £118m.
Meadow Farms, the Devon-based organic milk supplier, has been acquired by Horizon of the US for £16m.
Bass has announced plans to close offices at the Cape Hill brewery site in Smethwick, and staff will be relocated to a new building in Birmingham city centre in 2002.
United Milk is planning to build a new milk processing facility on a 30-acre site near Westbury in Wiltshire, employing 100 people.
Whitbread is selling its beer division to Interbrew of Belgium for £400m, in order to focus on hotels and leisure.
Cadbury Schweppes is planning to acquire the French chewing gum and candy business of Kraft Foods, and a deal is expected to be announced within weeks.
James Finlay, the tea plantations company, is being acquired by Swire, the Asian conglomerate, in a £101m deal.
The Welsh Development Agency has announced that the Burger Manufacturing Company is to set up a meat processing factory at the Wyeside Enterprise Park in Builth Wells, with the creation of 65 jobs.
WT Foods has acquired Rio Pacific Food Services, the Tex-Mex and Cajun specialist, for £7.5m.
Kepac is planning a £1.75m expansion at its meat processing plant at Bamber Bridge in Lancashire, with the creation of 50 jobs.
Allied Domecq is looking to acquire new vodka and white rum brands and also aims to expand its business in developing markets such as Asia.
British Cattle Movement Service is to continue to create new jobs at its facility in Workington, and may launch a similar service for sheep and goat information.
Hall & Woodhouse has bought King & Barnes, the Horsham-based brewery and pubs group, for undisclosed terms, and the brewery is expected to be closed with the loss of up to 50 jobs.
Greencore of Ireland has acquired Williams Rodgers Foods, the dried fruit manufacturer based in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, for undisclosed terms.
John Rannoch, the Suffolk-based ready meals company, is to invest £3m in the expansion of its capacity over the next two years, with the creation of 100 jobs.
Malton Bacon Factory has announced plans to build a new £20m meat products factory at its site in North Yorkshire, with the creation of up to 60 jobs.
Baxters has confirmed plans to spend £10m on a new chilled soups factory in Grimsby with the creation of up to 200 jobs, while £3m will be spent on the expansion of its headquarters at Fochabers.
Tate & Lyle is to sell its US grains business to JD Keiskell for about £35m, prompting speculation that its US sugar business could be sold next.
The Real Soup Company of Hexham and frozen ready meals company Danby's Foods have been acquired by Authentic Speciality Foods for undisclosed terms.
Yorkshire Forward has bought 85 acres of land at the disused Sherburn-in-Elmet airfield for £4.5m, in order to develop a new business park for the food industry that could create up to 3,000 jobs.
Unilever is acquiring two US food companies for a total £1.63bn - dietary supplement manufacturer SlimFast Foods and ice cream producer Ben & Jerry's Homemade.
Samworth Brothers is to expand production at its Bradgate Bakery sandwich factory in Leicester, with the creation of more than 100 jobs.
Greene King, the Suffolk-based brewery, is to close its storage depot in Rayleigh, in order to set up a 60,000 sq ft distribution centre in Crayford, near Dartford.
Shetland Catch is planning a £6m expansion at its Gremista fish factory in Lerwick.
Albert Fisher has sold its Greencell fresh produce division to management for £1.4m.
HP Bulmer is to acquire Dawes Group, the drinks wholesaler that trades as The Beer Seller, for £32m, in order to introduce its cider into more pubs.
Express Dairies has sold Kirkwall Creamery to a local consortium, in order to secure 100 jobs and the future of Orkney Island Cheddar.
Marine Harvest is to invest £1.6m at its fish processing plant in Lochaber with the creation of 25 jobs, while its main plant in Fort William will also be upgraded.
Richmond Foods has acquired Associated British Foods' ice-cream division for £19m, consolidating its position as the country's largest independent ice-cream manufacturer.
North Devon District Council is to consider plans from Advanced Marketing Services to develop commercial greenhouses at Yelland, employing more than 150 staff and using waste heat from a proposed gas-fired power station.
Leaf UK has announced the sale of the Elizabeth Shaw and Famous Names chocolate brands to a management team operating under the name of Packbond Holdings.
Tulip International is to relocate its processed meat production from Wellingborough to King's Lynn with the loss of more than 100 jobs.
Inter Link Foods has completed the acquisition of Nottingham-based Maid Marian Bakeries for about £1m.
Golden Wonder is creating a further 40 jobs at its snack food factory in Scunthorpe, following a £3m investment to produce crisps in tubes.
Charcuterie Continental is planning to build a £1m factory in Glasgow to produce sausages, meats and pizza toppings.
Scottish & Newcastle is planning to acquire Danone's beer operations in France, Belgium and Italy for £1.7bn, to create the second largest brewing group in Europe.
Fyffes, the fresh produce company, is looking to spend up to £60m on the development of its business-to-business e-commerce projects over the next two years.
Percy Dalton Group is planning to move its peanuts business to Canvey Island early next year, with the creation of 100 jobs.
Meridian Foods of Denbighshire has acquired Organic Valley, the supplier of organic canned foods, for undisclosed terms.
Ethnic Cuisine has awarded a £4m contract to Ballast Wiltshier to build a prepared meals factory in Swansea.
Britvic Soft Drinks is creating 40 new jobs at its factory in Chelmsford, in preparation for the launch of a new series of products.
ED&F Man has sold Farmers Fertiliser & Milling Company, its US peanut shelling business, to Birdsong Corporation for £60m.
Hydro Seafood is set to be acquired by Nutreco of the Netherlands, to create a combined fish-farming group employing 1,100 staff in Scotland.
Elgro has sold its Freshtime vegetable growing business in Boston to a management buy-out, in a £4m deal backed by 3i.
North Devon Meat is planning to set up a new £0.5m pork boning facility at its plant in Torrington.
Brake Bros is acquiring M&J Seafoods, the supplier of fish to caterers, for £44m.
Christian Salvesen has acquired Tinsley Food for £4.9m, in order to expand its chilled food coverage in Kent, Lincolnshire and the north-west.
Cromer Crab Company is to open a £3.8m shellfish processing factory in Cromer, Norfolk, later this year, with the creation of 65 jobs.
Laurens Patisseries is to create 300 jobs at its factory in Newark, having won a contract to supply desserts to Tesco.
Mother Hubbard Cakes of Manchester has been sold to management by Whitworths for undisclosed terms.
Unilever has acquired Cressida, the Honduras-based manufacturer of food and detergents, for about £200m.
Gafoor Poultry Products is to build a new £2m halal poultry products factory in Preston, with the creation of more than 40 jobs.
Welsh Whisky is preparing to open its new distillery at Penderyn, near Hirwaun, which will create 25 jobs.
Lightbody of Hamilton is planning a £3m expansion of its cakes factory in Hamilton.
S&A Foods is considering a number of potential sites in Derbyshire to build a new ready-made meals factory, which will create up to 700 jobs.
British Cattle Movement Service is to create 80 new jobs at the Derwent Howe Centre in Workington.
Farne Salmon is creating an additional 60 jobs at its smoked salmon business in Duns.
Perkins Foods is investing up to £23m to acquire a Dutch chilled and frozen poultry company and a French chilled salads company, and is now seeking manufacturing bases in Spain, Portugal and Italy.
Tetley has been acquired by Tata Tea of India for £271m, and the brand is expected to be launched into new markets worldwide.
Plymouth Gin has sold a 50% stake in its spirits business to Vin & Sprit of Sweden for undisclosed terms, and is also planning a major expansion into the US market.
Garma Foods International has acquired Kallo Group, the supplier of stock cubes and organic rice cakes, for £7.5m.
Unigate is planning to build a £3m blowmoulding facility and processing building at its milk depot in London's Shepherd's Bush.
Unigate has agreed to merge its dairy and cheese operations into Dairy Crest, leaving it free to focus on the expansion of its convenience foods business in Europe.
Bradford Metropolitan District Council has approved plans from Princes to build a soft drinks warehouse at Toftshaw Lane in Bradford, with the creation of 50 jobs.
Kerry Group has sold its DCA bakery business in the US and Canada to Pillsbury, the Diageo subsidiary, for £62m.
Youngs Bluecrest is to invest £5m in the upgrade of its fish processing factory at Marsden Road in Grimsby, but another factory in Hull will be closed with the loss of up to 176 jobs.
The NI Fishery Harbour Authority has announced plans for the £6m refurbishment of fish production facilities at the fishing ports Ardgass, Kilkeel and Portavogie.
Cadbury Schweppes is looking to spend up to £3bn on acquisitions, in order to expand its food and soft drinks operations.
Tetley is selling its US coffee businesses to Rowland Coffee Roasters and Mother Parker's Tea & Coffee for undisclosed terms, in order to focus on its core teabag brands.
Ribble Valley Council has approved plans for the development of a £2m high-tech dairy farm at Withgill Fold.
Western Isles Enterprise is supporting a £3.7m project by Smolt Seafarm to build a salmon processing plant on Scalpay with the creation of up to 80 jobs.
Deans Food Group has acquired Daylay Foods, the former chicken and egg subsidiary of Hillsdown.
Maldon Crystal Salt Company is seeking permission to build a new sea salt processing, packing and storage plant at the Wycke Hill Business Park on the outskirts of Maldon.
Hancocks Holdings is to set up a new confectionery wholesale outlet at Vanguard Court in Stockton, with the creation of about 25 jobs.
Northern Foods is to build a £5.5m frozen foods factory in Carlisle, but will close a nearby Cavaghan & Gray meat products factory as well as Rawmarsh Foods in Yorkshire.
Diageo is planning to set up an internet trading market for its suppliers, in order to combine purchasing budgets across its operations in 200 countries and to negotiate discounts.
Baxters is considering plans to build a fresh soups factory in Grimsby, with the creation of 200 jobs.
NFU Mutual is providing finance to the Triple S Ranch farmers co-operative for the construction of a £2m beef processing plant at Heathfield, which could create up to 150 jobs.
Hazlewood Foods is to combine its three Beaverlac cake factories in Hull into a new £15m purpose-built factory on Sutton Fields industrial estate next year, with the creation of up to 200 jobs.
British Sugar is forming a £7m joint venture with Humber Growers to set up glasshouses for growing tomatoes at Wissington in Norfolk, and similar projects are expected at other British Sugar sites.
JW Swithenbank, the Bradford-based fresh food wholesaler, has been bought out of receivership by Wilton Investments, saving 170 jobs.
Lovells, the Newport-based chocolate confectionery company, has been sold by NFF to a local businessman for £0.9m.
Ash Manor Cheese is planning to build a £1m cheese processing facility at its site in Wrexham.
Tomos Watkin is to build a new brewery in Swansea and buy 50 more Welsh pubs over the next four years, in a £10m expansion plan that will create 100 jobs.
Highlands & Islands Enterprise is in discussions with Scanbro Scotland about plans to build a £4m plant to process fish farm waste in the Fort William area, which would create up to 45 jobs.
Inter Link Foods has taken a £0.4m option to buy the William Lusty bakery business out of receivership, and has 27 months to decide whether to acquire the company.