Valeo swoops in to bag UK meat snacks giant

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Valeo is adding ontrend protein-packed meat snacks like biltong and jerky to its growing 'treats' portfolio. Pic: GettyImages/Boltenkoff
Valeo is adding ontrend protein-packed meat snacks like biltong and jerky to its growing 'treats' portfolio. Pic: GettyImages/Boltenkoff

Related tags Valeo Foods Meatsnacks Group Bain Capital Private Equity Tony Quinn New World Foods Europe Meat snacks Biltong jerky

Dublin-headquartered Valeo Foods – which itself was bought by Bain Capital Private Equity (co-founded by politician Mitt Romney) for £1.5bn in May – has agreed to acquire New World Foods Europe (NWFE) from Australian FMCG entrepreneur Tony Quinn.

According to Valeo – which produces brands such as Kettle chips, Jacob’s biscuits, Odlums flour and Rowse honey, among others – the bolt-on of NWFE will add approximately £25m in annual sales.

NWFE has expanded rapidly through acquisition in recent years – snapping up Meatsnacks Group in 2018 – and today is one of the leaders in the UK jerky and biltong segment, with a broad portfolio that includes brands like Kings, Wild West, Speyside and Cruga, as well as a range of premium private label goods.

The company employs around 120 staff at two plants in England and Scotland. James Newitt – who cofounded Meatsnacks Group – will continue to lead the company under the new ownership. However, NWFE will become part of Valeo Foods Snacking Division, ultimately reporting to Ashley Hicks.

Ambitious growth strategy

“NWFE is a great addition to our expansive portfolio of leading food brands and is consistent with our ambitious growth strategy,”​ said Seamus Kearney, group CEO of Valeo.

“The acquisition of NWFE adds a new and very strong dimension to our snacking business and we are very excited about the growth potential of NWFE’s portfolio of on-trend protein snacks and the opportunity to further develop the meat snacks category.”

The NWFE acquisition is Valeo’s 19th in a little over a decade, growing into a major player in the international food markets of the UK, Ireland and Europe with group-wide revenues of over €1.2bn. Its most recent deal was in January when it bought German company Schluckwerder, a confectionery manufacturer known for its Lübeck marzipan sweets.

NWFE MD James Newitt added, “We identified Valeo Foods as the perfect strategic fit to leverage further distribution opportunities in all channels, particularly International and Convenience as well as benefit from a more holistic and localised ownership. The team are excited, with the support of Ashley Hicks and the wider Valeo team, to accelerate our growth strategy which includes some exciting NPD.”

Valeo expects the transaction to ‘close within weeks’.

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