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Food & Drink - 2002






















Soya International has bought T Kearns, the Bradford-based soft drinks manufacturer with 20 staff, from the receivers of Lancashire Dairies for undisclosed terms.

Associated British Foods has sold six flour mills to Archer Daniels Midland for an estimated £70m, including sites in Liverpool, Knottingley, Corby, Tewkesbury, Edinburgh and Castleford.

HP Bulmer is to sell its Australian cider operations to Foster's Group for £22m, and has also announced plans to shed a further 200 mainly Hereford-based jobs.

Gresham Trust is backing the acquisition of Crosse & Blackwell's dried sauce and Snack Stop products by Brand Partnership of Leeds for undisclosed terms.

South Gloucestershire Council is to consider plans from the Cotswold Spring Natural Mineral Water to rebuild its bottling plant at Codrington.

Burn Stewart Distillers is to be acquired by CL Financial of Trinidad for £49m, and the new group plans to create a global drinks brand from a Scottish headquarters.

Cadbury Schweppes has agreed to acquire Adams, the US chewing gum manufacturer, from Pfizer for £2.7bn.

Beacon Foods is planning to create a further 60 jobs by 2004, following a recent £1.6m investment in food processing facilities.

Diageo is planning to sell its Burger King fast food business to a US private equity consortium headed by Texas Pacific Group for £950m.

S&A Foods is seeking permission for a £1.5m extension at one of its ready meals factories in Derby.

JS Barton has bought BFD Group, the Edinburgh-based food distributor, out of receivership for a nominal sum.

Kennelpak is planning to relocate its pet foods business from Castle Donington to a larger site at nearby Stapleford, with the creation of 20 new jobs.

Unilever is to sell Pamol Group, the Malaysian producer of palm oil, to Palmco for £97m.

Nestle is to invest £2.5m at its milk processing plant near Carlisle, but 24 jobs will be lost when production of condensed milk is transferred elsewhere.

Lancashire Dairies has sold its flavoured milk division out of receivership to a management team for £3.2m, creating a new company called Pure Milk with 66 staff.

Rich Products of the US is planning to expand its cookie and baked goods business in the UK, having just opened a new 20,000 sq ft factory in Kidderminster.

SeaChill is planning a £2m expansion at its fish processing business in Grimsby, with the creation of 50 jobs.

Western Isles Enterprise is to provide funding for the £0.7m expansion of the Hebridean Smokehouse fish processing plant on North Uist.

Unilever has agreed to sell Iberia Foods, its US food and cleaning products distribution business, to the Brooklyn Bottling Group for undisclosed terms.

Samworth Brothers is to start recruiting hundreds of staff for a new salad-making plant due to open in Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire, in April.

S Black has acquired Universe Ingredients, the food ingredients supplier, and will merge the two businesses at its Hertford head office.

Associated Co-operative Creameries has acquired the Southern Co-op's retail milk business, which includes a dairy in Portsmouth and three distribution sites.

Robert Wiseman is to open milk depots in Durham and Somerset in 2003 and 2004 respectively, and is still seeking a suitable site for a distribution centre near London.

Coors has announced plans to invest £35m at its brewery in Burton, with the creation of more than 100 jobs.

Bako is investing £1m in a new freezer warehouse for its bakery and food distribution business in Preston.

Lion Foods, the Runcorn-based company with 185 staff, has been bought out of administration by a management team.

Arla Foods has acquired HT Webb, the speciality cheese supplier, for undisclosed terms.

GBL International is considering plans to set up a vodka products plant at Clay Cross in Derbyshire with the creation of 120 jobs, but the project may be thwarted by high excise duties.

Fenmarc, the Cambridgeshire-based vegetable processing company with 500 staff, has undergone a management buy-out backed by 3i.

Cranswick has acquired North Wales Foods, the sandwich supplier with net assets of £1m.

Crantock Bakery, the Newquay-based bakery with 77 staff, has undergone a £6m management buy-out backed by Northern Venture Managers.

Balfour Beatty has won a £16m contract to build a whisky bottling plant in Livingston for the Glen Turner subsidiary of Lamartin Aquaise.

Northern Foods is creating up to 150 new jobs at its Palethorpes meat products factory in Market Drayton.

S Daniels, the supplier of soups and juices, has accepted a £23m takeover bid from Singapore Food Industries.

Elior, the French contract catering company, is to acquire Digby Trout, the operator of restaurants at a number of London venues.

Sygen International has acquired Super Shrimp, the Mexican shrimp breeder, for £2.9m.

Leading the Ornamental Challenge has secured a £0.5m grant from the government's Department of Rural Affairs to improve Lincolnshire's horticultural industry, which is expected to lead to the creation of 200 jobs.

OP Chocolates has secured a £1.2m grant from the Welsh Development Agency to expand its marshmallow confectionery factory in Merthyr.

Ken Bell International is planning to expand its shellfish processing plant in Newcastle with the creation of 120 jobs, and its headquarters will relocate from Jesmond to the production site in Longbenton next March.

Associated British Foods is to acquire the Ovaltine malt drink and ten other brands from Novartis of Switzerland for £171m.

Lancashire Dairies has sold its doorstep milk business to Creamline Dairies and its retail contracts business to Longslow Food Group.

Scottish & Newcastle is planning to build a new bottling plant at the John Smith's Brewery in Tadcaster, with the creation of up to 64 jobs.

Uniq is to sell its St Ivel Spreads business, which includes a factory in Knowsley, to Dairy Crest for £86m.

Unilever is to invest up to £107m in the creation of new venture funds to improve the way new product ideas are developed, and is particularly interested in the health sector and ideas that free up time at home.

Diageo is to create 93 jobs at a new £41m drinks plant in Mallusk, Belfast, from July 2003, which will bottle Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur.

Mid Suffolk District Council is to consider plans from Peter's Ice Cream for the relocation of its ice cream factory from Ipswich to the Lion Barn industrial estate in Needham Market.

Tillery Valley Foods is to invest £5m in new production, storage and office facilities at its ready meals factory in Blaenau Gwent, with the creation of 100 jobs.

Compass is paying £80m for a 60% stake in Italian catering company Onama.

Maud's Ice Cream is investing £1m and creating 20 jobs at its new factory in Carrickfergus.

Warburtons is to open a 130,000 sq ft bakery in Enfield, with the creation of about 300 jobs.

Traidcraft, the international fair trade company that sells food and crafts from the Third World, is to raise up to £3.2m in a share offer, in order to invest more in its suppliers and upgrade its Gateshead headquarters.

Maldon Crystal Salt Company is to relocate its Maldon-based salt processing business to a more productive site further down the River Blackwater.

Eismann is planning to double its 100-strong fleet of frozen food home delivery trucks and expand into the Midlands and northern England over the next three years, using funding from parent company Nestle.

Blueheath has raised £6.5m to expand its online wholesaling business, and the funds will be used to double its sales force and develop new warehouse facilities.

Scottish Enterprise has announced plans to set up a £5m food technology company at the Hannah Research Park in Ayr next year, under the name of FFAST Solutions.

Carmarthenshire County Council has approved plans from Port Talbot-based Dragon Baits for the development of a £4.5m fishing bait farm at Little Burrows near Pendine, which will create 127 jobs over the next three years.

Unilever has sold Loders Croklaan, its edible oils business with plants in the Netherlands, Canada, Egypt and the US, to IOI Corporation of Malaysia for £139m.

Genus, the cattle breeding company, is to relocate its head office from Crewe to Basingstoke, and some functions will be decentralised to its three operating divisions.

Youngs Bluecrest is recruiting a further 40 staff at its Scottish scampi processing plant in Annan, as part of a £2m investment at the site.

Sealord is planning to add two new production lines at its fish processing factory in Caistor, with the creation of 12 jobs.

Farne Salmon & Trout is planning to create more than 100 jobs at its Duns-based smoked salmon business, following the introduction of new products and a £0.8m investment in new technology.

Soleco is planning to double the size of its Florette prepared salads factory in Lichfield over the next 12 months.

Albert Fisher's receivers have sold its seafood processing operations in Fraserburgh and Peterhead to Macrae's, which will involve the transfer of 770 staff.

Dairy Crest has awarded a contract to Nampak to expand its polybottle manufacturing plant at Chadwell Heath and to build a new bottling plant at its Severnside site.

Arkady Craigmillar is relocating its confectionery mixes factory from Suffolk to Manchester.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has awarded a £29m contract to Kier to build a new headquarters in Whitehall, London.

Diageo has agreed to sell its Burger King fast food business to a consortium that includes Texas Pacific Group, Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners for about £1.4bn.

East Surrey Holdings has sold The Classic Water Company, its bottled water supply business with 31 staff in Surrey and Essex, to Culligan International for £3.3m.

KK Wholefoods is to relocate its food processing factory from Flint to a new site at the Deeside Industrial Park in October, and expects to double the workforce to 100 within five years.

Greencore has sold Pann Krisp, the Wrexham-based chilled foods manufacturer with 400 staff, to a management buy-in.

Glanbia is to sell its UK foodservice distribution business to Peter's Food Service for undisclosed terms, which will involve the transfer of 500 staff at a central facility in Tamworth and eight regional depots.

Memory Lane Cakes is to undergo a £9.5m reverse takeover by cash shell Megalomedia, creating a new group called Finsbury Foods.

Albert Fisher's receivers have sold the group's frozen and chilled recipe dish business to Coldwater Seafood, securing the future of 250 jobs in Redditch.

Cumbrian Seafoods is creating 70 new jobs at its seafood operations in Cumbria, including 40 at a third factory unit on the Solway Industrial Estate in Maryport and 30 at its main plant.

Samworth Brothers has started work on the development of a £20m sandwich factory on a 20-acre site off the M1 near Leicester, and up to 400 jobs will be created from February next year.

Hazlewood Foods is investing £13m at its ready meals factory in Warrington, and a further £6m will be invested at its Wisbech site to double capacity and create 200 jobs.

Grampian Country Foods has received a £55m equity investment from Bank of Scotland, and some of the funding may be used for the overseas expansion of its poultry processing operations.

The National Assembly for Wales has announced a £3.6m European grant for Selonda UK to develop a £19m halibut farm in a disused Anglesey quarry, including on-site fish processing plant, commercial-scale marine hatchery and the creation of 55 jobs.

Midland Meat Packers is to shed 100 jobs at its abattoir near Rugby next month, and other staff are expected to be relocated to other sites.

Bure Valley Foods is planning a £1m expansion at its meat and poultry products plant at Earl Stonham near Stowmarket, with the creation of 50 jobs.

Avana Bakeries is to create 177 jobs at its bakery in Newport, having won a new contract to supply Christmas Cakes to Marks & Spencer.

Cains, the Liverpool-based brewer, has been acquired by Stourbridge-based drinks distributor Gardner Shaw for £3.4m.

Tolly Cobbold is to merge with Essex-based brewer TD Ridley & Sons, and its Ipswich brewery will be closed and production transferred to the Ridleys brewery at Hartford End, near Chelmsford.

The Leicester Shire Development Agency has announced that up to 1,000 new jobs will be created in Leicestershire when three unnamed companies establish new sites in the county, including a UK food manufacturer, a German hi-tech company and a US distributor.

Greencore is to sell two subsidiaries to Campbell Soup for about £16m, including William Rodgers, the UK pasta and rice company, and Erin Foods, the Irish soups and sauces company.

Carrick Council has approved plans for the development of a £30m 34-acre food park between Truro and Redruth, which will provide food processing and storage facilities for up to 50 companies.

British Bakeries is setting up a chain of regional distribution centres across the country, including sites in Glasgow, Avonmouth and three other unspecified locations.

Cadbury Schweppes is to acquire the branded chewing gum business of Dandy of Denmark for £201m.

Debsons of Sunderland is to expand its sandwich business across the country by opening new depots, and its workforce will rise from 35 to at least 85 by the end of the year.

Albert Fisher's receivers are to sell three chilled foods businesses to Fresh Del Monte Produce of the US for undisclosed terms, saving 1,200 jobs at sites in York, Wisbech and Methwold, Norfolk.

Brake Bros, the catering company, is to be acquired by US private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice in a £434m deal.

Walkers is planning a £50m expansion at its crisps factory in Leicester, including a new warehouse and production line, with the creation of up to 150 jobs.

Milk Group is to merge with Zenith Milk to create a new co-operative organisation called Dairy Farmers of Britain, in order to reduce the haulage and administration costs involved with supplying milk to dairies.

Dairy Crest is to invest £49m at the Davidstow creamery in Cornwall, in order to expand production of its Cathedral City cheese brand.

Northern Foods is considering plans to relocate its headquarters and 150 staff to the Island Wharf waterfront site in Hull, but a number of other sites are also being considered.

United Biscuits is to expand production at its KP snacks factory in Billingham with the creation of 100 jobs, due to the success of the new Shoks potato hoop.

Kleeneze is to sell its Tranfood meat processing business to Recordline, in order to raise up to £3m and focus on its direct retail operations.

Anglia Crown is planning a £1m expansion at its hospital meals production facility in Manchester by November, with the creation of 30 jobs.

International Cuisine is creating 50 new jobs at its ready meals factory in Consett, following a £2.8m expansion programme.

Kwoks is planning a £5m expansion at its Oriental foods factory in Grimsby, with the creation of 70 jobs.

Golden Wonder, the snacks manufacturer, is being sold by Bridgepoint Capital to The Snack Factory of Skelmersdale for undisclosed terms, while the Wotsits brand is being sold to Walkers.

Robert Wiseman Dairies is considering sites in Luton, Swindon and Oxford to set up a new £5m milk depot, as part of a strategy to expand further into the south-east.

McIntosh of Dyce has sold its bakery business to Bell Bakers of Shotts for undisclosed terms, saving 75 jobs.

Glisten, the Blackburn-based specialist foods company, is planning a flotation on Aim, and will then undergo a £7.5m management buy-in.

Warrens of St Just has acquired the Mayflower bakery in Plymouth, which will involve the transfer of 100 staff.

Sun Valley Foods is to close its poultry processing factory at Blaenavon in South Wales in August and relocate up to 289 jobs to Hereford.

McIntosh of Dyce has sold its Aberdeenshire-based ready meals business out of receivership to a management team for undisclosed terms, saving 50 jobs.

Glenmorangie is investing £0.5m in the expansion of capacity at its Tain distillery in the Highlands.

Brandons has acquired Moorland Poultry of Yorkshire for undisclosed terms, creating a combined turkey business with annual turnover of more than £100m.

Grampian Country Foods is to close its poultry processing plant at Newbridge in Edinburgh with the loss of 550 jobs, in order to relocate the work to its Coupar Angus site.

Thompson & Morgan, the Ipswich-based horticulture and seeds company, has undergone a £17m management buy-out from US parent International Garden Products.

Brecon Carreg is undergoing a £1.5m expansion at its mineral water production plant near Llandeilo, with the creation of 21 jobs.

Youngs Bluecrest is to close a fish factory in Kilkeel, County Down, with the loss of 150 jobs, in order to relocate the scampi processing operation to Scotland.

Nestle has agreed to sell its UK-based ambient-temperature food operations to Premier International Foods for about £135m.

Geest has acquired SBLP, the French prepared salads company, for £1.6m, in order to strengthen its position in the north of the country.

Tate & Lyle has sold its US-based Western Sugar business to Rocky Mountain Sugar Growers Co-operative for £58m.

Tomos Watkin is to invest £0.4m increasing the capacity at its Swansea brewery, with the creation of 20 jobs.

Flatfish is to relocate its Grimsby-based fish processing factory and 30 staff to a new £1m site in Stirling Street in July.

Associated British Foods is to acquire the Mazola corn products business in the US and 18 other brands from Unilever for £248m.

Roach Foods is to create 100 additional jobs at its factory in Bodmin, having won new contracts to supply cooked and packaged meats to supermarkets.

Burton's Foods is to invest £12m at its biscuit factory in Wirral over the next three years, with the creation of 150 jobs.

Compass is to acquire Gruppo Events, the provider of catering services at Somerset House in London, for up to £6.6m.

Cantrell & Cochrane is to invest £10m on replacing its Belfast-based soft drinks production facility, following a recent fire.

Del Monte Fresh Produce is creating 42 jobs at a new 30,000 sq ft fruit packing and distribution centre in Gateshead.

Bernard Matthews is planning to extend its factory in Alderford, Norfolk, in order to incorporate a sandwich and pizza processing section, with the creation of up to 150 jobs.

Fyffes is to close its banana ripening and distribution centre in Highbridge, Somerset, with the loss of 60 jobs, and the business will be relocated to Basingstoke.

Cadbury Schweppes is to acquire Nantucket Allserve, the US soft drinks company with annual sales of £42m, for undisclosed terms.

Mellors is planning to triple the turnover of its Southport-based contract catering business by taking on a further 30 contracts and recruiting dozens of staff.

Coors is to close its brewery in Smethwick later this year with the loss of up to 320 jobs, and production will be relocated to Burton, where 100 new jobs could be created.

Voyager Foods is considering plans to invest up to £1m in the expansion of its sauces factory in Sunderland, as parent company Kerry looks to expand across Europe.

Burton's Foods has acquired Biscuit Makers, the Irish manufacturer of Kelly's cookies.

Youngs Bluecrest, the Grimsby-based fish processing company, is to be sold by Legal & General Ventures to a management buy-out for £137m.

Diageo is to sell its Glen Ellen wine business in the US to Franzia Winery for £58m.

Scottish & Newcastle is to set up a 355,000 sq ft regional distribution centre at the Mill Park scheme in Thatcham.

Tomos Watkin, the Llansamlet-based brewery, is undergoing a management buy-out for undisclosed terms.

Brake Bros is considering plans to put itself up for sale, and may seek a partner to expand its catering operations in France and the UK.

Scottish & Newcastle is to relocate its Waverly Vintners drinks wholesaling office and call centre from Perth to sites in Edinburgh and Gateshead, which will have an impact on 75 jobs.

Uniq is to set up a prepared foods factory at the former Devon Desserts site in Newton Abbot, with the creation of 50 jobs.

Compass is to acquire Bon Appetit Management, the US foodservice company based in California, for £114m.

G&G Food Supplies is investing more than £1m in new machinery for its vitamin manufacturing business in East Grinstead.

Brake Bros has acquired two French regional catering wholesalers - Bianchi Gers and PSM Jarny - for £14m.

Arla Foods is to invest £40m in the development of a new dairy near Leeds by 2004, to replace an existing city centre site.

BC Partners has acquired Galbani, the Italian cheese and salami company, from Danone for £610m, and may now seek further acquisitions in the European cheese market.

Allied Domecq has bought the Malibu rum brand from Diageo for £560m, and has also acquired Mumm Cuvee Napa, the US sparkling wine company, for £27m.

Cadbury Schweppes has acquired a 51% stake in Kent Gida, the Turkish sugar confectionery company, for £90m.

Tate & Lyle is looking to sell its North American molasses operations, including United Molasses, UM North America and United Storage.

Cwmni Cig Arfon is planning a £1m expansion at its meat processing plant in Caernarfon, with the creation of 20 jobs.

Carlsberg-Tetley is to invest £10m in the expansion of its Northampton brewery, and its marketing budget is to rise by 70% to £28m this year.

Aldreds is building a new £2m bakery at the Manners Industrial Estate in Ilkeston, which will involve the creation of 30 new jobs and the relocation of up to 64.

Needler Bluebird is considering plans to close its confectionery factory in Hull, and the business may be relocated to parent company Ashbury Confectionery in Corby.

BFD Group has acquired Crowson's & Sons, the cheese supplier, gaining access to warehouse space in Cheltenham and catering customers in London.

Scottish & Newcastle is to acquire Hartwall, the Finnish beer and soft drinks company, for £1.2bn, gaining a 50% stake in Russia's leading brewer Baltic Beverages Holdings.

Compass has acquired the Castle Independent school meals business, which includes 2,500 staff across the country, from Castle View for undisclosed terms.

Allied Distillers is to re-activate the Glendronach distillery with the creation of 18 jobs, and has also announced plans to mothball its Dumbarton distillery and invest £6m at its Strathclyde facility.

Fishwicks is to create 40 jobs with the opening of a new £1.5m fruit and vegetable depot at the Simonside East Industrial Park in South Shields this summer.

Tate & Lyle has sold its sugar refining operations in Namibia and Zimbabwe to CBAQ of Botswana for £3.2m, as part of a strategy to focus on Europe and the US.

The Scottish Executive has announced grants worth £6.8m for improvements to 52 fisheries and aquaculture capital projects in rural Scotland, which could lead to the creation of up to 640 jobs.

Compass has acquired London-based contract caterer Woodin & Johns for undisclosed terms, in order to expand its City dining branch Restaurant Associates.

Joseph Mitchell of Dundee has acquired Challenger Foods of Sunderland for £3.5m, and wants to double the size of the chicken processing business with the creation of about 100 jobs.

Solway Foods is to invest £1.5m at its chilled convenience foods factory in Corby with the creation of 120 jobs, in order to launch 20 new product lines this year.

Unilever has sold Cremanaze, the Kent-based sauces and dressings manufacturer with 30 staff, in order to focus on key brands.

Needler Bluebird has been acquired by Ashbury Confectionery of Corby to create a combined confectionery business with turnover of £25m.

Napier Brown has sold its Express Products pizza manufacturing business in Lymington to management for £0.5m, and the business has been renamed Doughology.

Allied Domecq and Miller Brewing are to invest £17m each in a new joint venture to launch vodka-and-tequila-flavoured drinks in the US.

Warburtons is to invest £1m at its Newcastle-upon-Tyne bakery this year, including new equipment, new delivery vehicles and more training for the 300 staff.

Scotch Premier Meat is to invest £1m in the reopening of Dornoch abattoir, with the creation of 50 jobs.

Tate & Lyle has sold East African Storage of Kenya to African Bulk Commodities and Tanzania Liquids Storage to Africa Tank Terminals, and the deals include assets worth £1.3m.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has started work on a £19m scheme to replace its kitchens with ready-cooked meals brought in from Tillery Valley Foods of South Wales, with the creation of 80 jobs at a distribution centre at Seacroft Hospital.

Yorkshire Cottage Bakeries has bought Mother Hubbard Cakes, the Hyde-based manufacturer of cake bars, out of administration.

Princes Foods is planning to double the size of its business over the next three years, having reorganised the company structure into three divisions - Princes Foods Trading & Manufacturing, Princes Foods International and Princes Soft Drinks.

Dundees, the sandwich producer with 47 staff, is considering plans to relocate to a purpose-built factory on a one-acre site near its Newcastle-upon-Tyne headquarters.

Bathams is planning a £1m expansion programme in order to increase capacity at its Brierley Hill brewery and buy five more pubs across the Black Country.

Palmer & Harvey McLane, the food and cigarette distributor, is planning a £165m management buy-out.