ABP Food Group has bought the Debbie & Andrew’s sausage brand from Vion UK, thegrocer.co.uk can reveal.
The brand, which was founded by Debbie and Andrew Keeble back in 2000, will become part of ABP’s WA Turner sausage division.
ABP is issuing a release on its acquisition today, after The Grocer started making enquiries about the deal earlier this week.
WA Turner managing director Ian Bagnell said Debbie & Andrew’s was an “exciting and important” addition to WA Turner’s product line-up. “We are keen to reinforce the Debbie & Andrew’s brand values and expand the current range of traditional flavours,” he said, adding work on new flavours had already started.
Debbie and Andrew Keeble are no longer involved with the brand that still bears their names. The couple sold the brand to JJ Transfield, which was subsequently acquired by Vion in 2007. They initially remained on board as directors of the brand after these acquisitions, but – as The Grocer revealed in November – resigned as directors in spring 2012.
The Keebles have since announced plans to launch a new premium sausage brand, called Heck, later this year.
The sale of Debbie & Andrew’s marks the latest stage in Vion’s exit from the UK market. The company announced last year that it selling off all of its UK divisions, and its pork business has already been sold in a management buyout.
ABP is currently embroiled in the horse DNA contamination scandal, after frozen burgers made by its Silvercrest and Dalepak Hambleton plants were found to contain horse DNA. Its WA Turner division is not implicated in the scandal.
Neither ABP nor Vion would disclose financial details of the acquisition. For more information about the deal, see this Saturday’s edition of The Grocer (2 February).