Thai firm CP Foods buys Westbridge Food Group

UK-based protein, desserts and vegetable supplier Westbridge Food Group has been bought by Thailand-based Charoen Popkhand Foods plc (CP Foods) for an undisclosed sum.

Formed in 1998, Malvern-based Westbridge Food Group sources and supplies products across several food groups including raw, coated, part and fully cooked proteins, desserts, vegetables and party food on a world-wide basis.

In addition to its three UK locations, Westbridge, which records current annual group sales in excess of £300m, has further operations in Thailand, China, France and Poland.

Westbridge Foods' range incorporates more than 100 standard and customer bespoke products. The range covers many categories, including raw, cooked, coated and roasted chicken, prepared foods, turkey, duck, fish and seafood, frozen dips, vegetable and dessert dishes.

CP Foods, which was ranked in the Forbes Global 2000 List of The World's Largest and Most Powerful listed Companies 2016, produces and distributes fresh food and cooked products on a global basis. The group, which has production and processing bases in 16 countries has been a supplier of food products to Westbridge for almost 20 years.

Peter McNeil, chairman at Westbridge Foods, states: “This deal opens a new and exciting chapter for Westbridge and we look forward to working with CP Foods to maximise the possibilities for our mutual benefit and for that of our customers. 

“This was an extraordinarily complicated deal involving multiple jurisdictions and complex corporate structures. We very much appreciate the support and advice of the Higgs Corporate and support teams.  Their calm and consistent approach was key to ensuring a successful outcome for the Westbridge shareholders.”

The Higgs & Sons corporate team advised the shareholders of long-term client Westbridge Foods on the deal, which was announced to the Stock Exchange of Thailand yesterday (Monday 3 April).

The Higgs & Sons team was led by head of the firm’s corporate department Nick Taylor, and associate Jamie Partington, who worked across several international territories in order to successfully complete the deal.

“This was a complicated global deal. The two companies between them have interests in five continents,” commented Taylor.

“Westbridge has been a long-standing client and we have established an extremely close working relationship with them, based on a detailed understanding of the business and its long term aims and objectives.”

Grant Thornton provided corporate finance advice to the shareholders on the transaction.

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