Takeover comes hot on heels of stake in Gruppo Russo Princes grows further with Oxbridge purchase Clive Beddall Princes Foods has consolidated its position as a force in retail and foodservice markets by buying one of its majorrivals, Oxbridge Foods. And as The Grocer went to Press on Thursday, the move was being hailed by international canned goods traders as "one of the most significant steps yet" in its campaign. Oxbridge, a Chertsey based business with longstanding sourcing connections in many parts of the world, was jointly owned by its management and venture capitalist 3i and has a turnover of more than £70m. This is Princes' second takeover in a month. Several weeks ago it strengthened its place in the canned peeled tomatoes sector by buying a stake in the Italian Gruppo Russo, (The Grocer, March 6, p26). Princes is wholly owned by the Mitsubishi Corporation, one of the world's largest trading organisations. Oxbridge grew out of the former Haigh Castle and Jack L Israel canned goods operations, two long established names in the business. It is prominent in sourcing canned fish, fruit and vegetables with strong trading links in North America, the Far East, Israel and the Mediterranean. Its major labels are Cucumber, Osprey, Tudor Queen and Sanlakol. However, historically, while its main strength has been in salmon sourcing, it has increasingly developed a tuna trade, a sector where it is increasingly coming into conflict with Heinz. On Thursday it was revealed that Oxbridge non executive chairman Barry Skipper, the former Booker food distribution division chief executive, who represented the 3i interests, had resigned. l The deed is done ­ Provisions, page 28. {{NEWS }}