Dunbia strengthens pigmeat business in the north

Northern Irish red meat processor Dunbia is planning to expand its pigmeat operations in the north of England by acquiring Mansfield-based G Wood & Sons Holdings for an undisclosed sum.

Subject to due diligence, the deal has been welcomed by G Wood & Sons directors Chris and John Wood as a positive step forward for their processing business, which would safeguard its future for employees, suppliers and customers.

Dungannon-based Dunbia currently operates 10 sites throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland employing over 3,000 workers, with an additional trading office in Paris. It supplies beef, lamb and pork products to retail and foodservice customers.

The planned acquisition follows Dunbia’s announcement last week of a new deal to supply Hereford beef for The Co-operative’s premium Truly Irresistible range, while earlier this year the Northern Irish processor secured the contract to supply all of Asda’s lamb from its Carmarthenshire plant.

Dunbia hopes the latest acquisition will integrate its existing supply chain in the Midlands, which includes a boning operation in Crewe, acquired from Heathfield Foods in 2011, and sausage processing – recently boosted by a multi-million-pound investment – in Preston.

“The deal builds on our strong network of abattoirs across the UK and provides us with access to additional supplies of British quality-assured and higher-welfare pork,” said Jim Dobson, Dunbia Group managing director. “We see this acquisition as an opportunity to expand our pork division in line with our customers’ requirements.”

Chris Wood said: “We have worked hard to successfully build up the business over the years and feel the time is now right to become part of a larger group.”

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