Dairy Crest has swooped to buy cooking oil and salad dressing maker MH Foods.

The deal is worth £13m and hands Dairy Crest control of the Fry Light cooking oil brand.

Dairy Crest chairman Anthony Fry said MH Foods had “a good history of innovation over many years, is the leading brand in its sector and fits well with our spreads business”.

He added: “We believe the acquisition will allow us to build on our strong portfolio of lighter brands.”

In a separate move, Dairy Crest said up to 90 jobs could go at its Crudgington site next year as production of Clover shifts entirely to Kirkby. Around 45 jobs will be created at Kirkby as a result of the move.

“The decision to transfer production has not been taken lightly,” said Richard Jones, supply chain director of the company’s foods division.

“This is part of an extensive operational review, during which various options have been considered to continue to improve efficiencies across the business. We are always reluctant to let employees go and will do all we can to lessen the impact of redundancy by helping them to find alternative employment.”

The news came as Dairy Crest announced its latest quarterly results, with sales of its five leading brands – including Country Life and Clover – up by around 5%.

Read more
Top brands up in first quarter for Dairy Crest (19 July 2011)
Focus On Oils (28 May 2011)