Fresh Del Monte Produce, the US fresh fruit and vegetables group, is taking its first step to becoming a global leader in the sector by buying three Fisher Foods businesses from the receivers of Albert Fisher.
No price was given, but KPMG, the receivers, were "delighted". Albert Fisher went into administrative receivership in May owing more than £100 million (€154m).
The deal will pit Fresh Del Monte, which no longer has a connection with the canned fruit group with the same name, against rivals such as Geest and Uniq in the fast growing prepared fruit and vegetable sector.
Fresh Del Monte had sales last year of $1.93bn (€1.96bn). It was Albert Fisher's largest rival in the US. The group said its expanded presence would allow it "to tap into the rapidly growing global market in much the same way as we did in the US."
However, analysts pointed out that whereas in the US brand names such as Del Monte are important, in the UK these sort of products are largely sold under retailers' own labels.
Fresh Del Monte Chairman and chief executive officer Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh said why the acquisition was important in a press release. "UK consumers, like their North American counterparts, are increasingly demanding the ease and convenience of prepared fruit and vegetables. Fresh Del Monte's expanded presence in this market will allow us to tap into the rapidly growing global market in much the same way as we did in the US."