Netherlands food producer, Vion NV, has reached an agreement for a management buy-out of its UK pork operations, securing around 4,000 jobs, subject to Competition Authority approval in Ireland.
The deal, led by Seamus Carr, managing director of Vion's Pork Business Unit, is backed by UK private equity firm Endless, which has a strong track record of investing in companies in the UK across a wide range of sectors.
The announcement follows the strategic decision Vion announced on 19th November that it was selling its UK food operations, employing in total 13,000 people at 38 sites, to focus on its core food activities in the Netherlands and Germany and its global ingredients business.
Discussions are ongoing with a number of prospective purchasers for Vion's other UK business units for poultry and red meat.
Vion's UK pork facilities are located in Wiveliscombe, Malton, Haverhill, Scunthorpe, Hull, Stoke and Enfield in England, at Cookstown in Northern Ireland and the pig farming and feed mill operation in Scotland at Brydock, Aberdeenshire. In addition, Vion operates the McGees butchers business in the Republic of Ireland.
Endless is a specialist investor in UK headquartered businesses, widely known for acquiring non-core businesses from large groups.
Vion NV entered the UK in the late 1990s with the acquisition of Key Country Foods, followed by Tranfield and subsequently Grampian Country Food Group in 2008, supplying beef, lamb, pork and chicken products to a broad range of blue-chip customers across the food retailing, food manufacturing and food service sectors.
Source: Vion NV