Karro Food Group sold to Sofina Foods
The business behind pork specialist Karro Food Group and Young’s Seafood, the Eight Fifty Food Group, has been sold to Canadian giant Sofina Foods.
The Eight Fifty Food Group has been sold by CapVest, which acquired Karro in 2017 and Young’s Seafood in 2019. Eight Fifty later consolidated five other protein businesses from across Europe to create what is a leading European multi-protein specialist.
Sofina Foods is one of Canada’s largest food producers and has a 25-year history of acquisitions, growth and success. It is one of that country’s leading manufacturers of primary and further processed protein products for both retail and foodservice customers and currently operates 21 different sites and employs approximately 5,000 people.
Eight Fifty is a leading supplier of both branded and own-label seafood and pork. The pork division is one of the largest processors and suppliers of products across the UK and Ireland. The seafood division is the largest provider of chilled and frozen products across the UK, including the Young’s brand, and is a major player in frozen seafood across Germany and France.
The Group employs around 8,300 people, across 23 manufacturing sites. The business will remain under the leadership of Di Walker.
Jason Rodrigues, Partner at CapVest, said: “We’ve created a leading European multi-protein business through a combination of strategic investment in our core asset base and complementary acquisitions of fantastic national champions. Eight Fifty delivers best-in-class products to our customers and consumers and we are all very proud of what Di Walker and her team have achieved over the last four years. We’re confident that Eight Fifty will continue to flourish under Sofina Food’s ownership.”
Di Walker, CEO of Eight Fifty, said: “We began this journey as a UK-only pork supplier doing less than £500 million in sales and after several years of transformational organic and acquisitive progress are now the European multi-protein specialist with over £2 billion in sales. This transaction and the interest in Eight Fifty is a great reflection on the quality of the business and testament to the work that CapVest and our entire management team have completed. We’re very excited to join Sofina Foods to deliver on their ambitious future growth plans.”
Michael Latifi, founder and executive chairman of Sofina Foods, said: “As a leading Canadian multi-protein specialist, this acquisition allows Sofina Foods to continue on our path of ambitious expansion. Sofina Foods is one of Canada’s largest food producers and we have created a solid global foundation for continued growth. With a history of excellence in food production and processing spanning over 25 years, the strong brands of Eight Fifty Food Group align perfectly with our prominent brands and our shared future vision.”
The new company will have over 13,000 employees globally across 44 sites and near $6B in annual revenue.
Bob Wilt, president and CEO of Sofina Foods, said: “Our team in Canada and our new partners at Eight Fifty Food Group have set the stage for considerable growth. I look forward to working with Di and to welcoming Eight Fifty to the Sofina family, and to drawing upon the significant expertise that exists across both businesses.”