French food supplier Solina Group has snapped up culinary sauce specialist New Ivory as it looks to grow its presence in the UK.

Solina has bought the company from major stakeholder Rob Whitehead for an undisclosed sum.

New Ivory, headquartered in Elland, West Yorkshire, has approximately 180 employees and has longstanding relationships with both retail and industry customers.

Adam Jones and the New Ivory management team will stay in the company.

In its latest filed accounts for the year to 27 June 2015, New Ivory grew sales from £20.5m to £21.3m, but pre-tax profit dipped from £753k to £663k.

Laurent Weber, CEO, Solina Group, said: “New Ivory is highly recognized for its pro-activity and service level in both the retail and industry markets. We have been particularly impressed by the level of quality of the production process. We look forward to working with the management team to develop further our new platform in the UK.

“New Ivory will benefit from the existing European network of Solina with multiple R&D centres and technologies. We plan to provide New Ivory’s customers with access to Solina’s broader platform of products, ingredients and services which is now unique in Europe”.

Solina Group is strengthening its presence in the UK with the acquisition and is part of its wider European objective is to complete its fast growing network of local service operations.

Rob Whitehead, former owner of New Ivory said : “Whilst I’m sad it’s the end of an era for me, I think it’s the right thing for New Ivory and the team.

“In addition to the culinary expertise and customer focus at the heart of New Ivory’s value proposition, Solina brings a global reach and scale now needed to compete in a truly world class market like chilled food. Solina’s plans in the UK are very exciting and I think our customers will welcome the ongoing choice that the introduction of Solina will bring.”

Solina was advised by Oghma Partners, Eversheds and Ernstd & Young while Rob Whitehead was advised by Walker Morris and Grant Thornton.