Karro owners to acquire M&M Walshe Holdings
The private equity-backed food group behind Young’s and Karro has agreed a deal for a products business. The Eight Fifty Food Group is set to acquire M&M Walshe Holdings for an undisclosed sum.
M&M Walshe trades as RibWorld, Callan Bacon and Stirchley Bacon, and is a processor and multi-channel supplier of gammon, bacon and sous-vide meat products.
The business employs around 550 people across its three sites located in Tipperary and Kilkenny in the Republic of Ireland and Redditch in the UK.
The business will be integrated into Eight Fifty’s pork division, with M&M Walshe’s sous-vide products complementing Eight Fifty’s existing customer offering. The Walshe family, who have operated M&M Walshe since its foundation in 1981, are reported to be remaining involved with the business following the transaction.
The Eight Fifty Food Group, based in Malton, North Yorkshire, was formed following the acquisition of seafood business Young’s by pork processor Karro Food Group. It is backed by CapVest Partners.
Following the latest deal, Eight Fifty will have sales of about £1.4bn and employ more than 7,500 people across 19 sites in the UK and Ireland.
Di Walker, group chief executive of Eight Fifty Food Group, said: “Eight Fifty have been working with the Walshe and Clohessy families for over 30 years and have seen their business grow significantly to become one of Europe’s largest sous-vide specialists today.
“We’re delighted to welcome M&M Walshe into the Eight Fifty Food Group and look forward to continue growing with them.”
John Walshe, on behalf of M&M Walshe, added: “The interest shown in our business is a great reflection of the quality of our products, our people and our loyal customer base.
“We look forward to working with Di Walker and the Eight Fifty team and seeing the business flourish under new ownership.”
Jason Rodrigues, partner at CapVest, said: “M&M Walshe is an exciting first step for Eight Fifty out of the UK, and underlines our ambition to become a market leader in European food.
“We look forward to working closely with management to accelerate investment and leverage the Eight Fifty platform to drive European sales of their sous-vide products.”
The transaction will be subject to standard closing conditions and approval from the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.