Vion UK completes sale to 2 Sisters

The sale of Vion’s poultry and red meat activities to 2 Sisters Food Group has been completed, following an agreement with Boparan Holdings last month.

Vion UK chairman Peter Barr said: “Following the formal completion of the sale, we would like to wish the 2 Sisters management team every success with their newly expanded business.”

Supply chain secured

With the acquisition complete, the viable future for the businesses and the UK’s supply chain have been secured. 2 Sisters also said the purchase would help it meet the growing demand in its poultry sales.

Chief executive of 2 Sisters Food Group Ranjit Singh said in a statement last month: “We are delighted to be acquiring Vion UK’s poultry and red meat businesses. They have faced significant uncertainty and tough trading in recent months, but today’s acquisition secures a viable future. With the majority of the operations being in Scotland and Wales, we are delighted that the Scottish and Welsh governments are supportive of this deal and we look forward to working with them and developing a sustainable future for these businesses.

“This acquisition will safeguard a key supply chain for high-quality British poultry and meat, offering reassurance to farmers in England, Scotland and Wales and upholding the quality and provenance that UK customers and consumers deserve.”

Vion Food Group

Vion announced in November last year it would be ceasing its UK operations. The Dutch-owned company, which originally entered the UK market in the late 1990s, became a major player with the purchase of the Grampian Country Food Group in 2008 and, at the time, declared the UK to be its third home market.

Various parts of the business have already been sold on and/or renamed since the company announced it was leaving the UK. The sale of its Scotland-based Hall’s of Broxburn operation, which the company announced it would close in July 2012, caused considerable controversy. However, it was only the Hall’s of Broxburn brand that was eventually sold to Browns Food Group on 30 January 2013, resulting in the loss of more than 1,000 jobs on 8 February, when the plant finally closed.

Vion’s pork business was also sold in December last year and renamed as the Karro Food Group. 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 McGees butcher’s business in the Republic of Ireland.

Managing director of Vion’s pork business, Seamus Carr, led the management buyout, backed by a private equity firm.

At the time the deal was completed in January this year, Carr said: “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 on the opportunities in the marketplace to grow the business.”


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