Vion completes deal for UK pork business

A management buy-out (MBO) deal for Vion UK’s troubled pork unit has now been delivered, the organisation has announced.

Vion revealed plans to sell off its UK operations late last year, and the decision to go ahead with an MBO was made just before Christmas. The company said the deal had now been completed.

Seamus Carr, managing director of Vion’s pork business unit, has led the purchase, which is backed by UK private equity firm Endless. It is hoped the move will secure around 4,000 jobs.

Peter Barr, chairman of Vion UK, said: “Following the formal completion of the MBO, we would like to wish the new management team every success as the business embarks on the next stage of its development.”

The purchase is the first agreement following Vion’s announcement that it was quitting the UK to refocus its activities on its core markets in the Netherlands and Germany. Before Christmas, the company said discussions over the purchase of its poultry and red meat business units were ongoing, with “a number of prospective purchasers”.
 
The pork unit features facilities 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, as well as the McGee’s butchers business in the Republic of Ireland.
 
Announcing the MBO, Carr said: “Vion’s decision to sell its UK business naturally caused a degree of uncertainty among staff, suppliers and customers. So I’m very pleased that we have quickly been able to agree a deal for the pork business, which secures the future for our staff and our suppliers and gives our customers a seamless transition.

“Our ambitions for the new business are firstly to maintain the excellent levels of service and product quality that have helped us secure orders from all the major supermarkets and then build upon the opportunities in the marketplace to grow the business.”

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