Princes is poised to bolster its tomato canning business with the acquisition of an Italian tomato processing factory.

A new company, Princes Industrie Alimentari (PIA) - 51% owned by Princes and 49% by its long-term Italian tomato supplier AR Industrie Alimentari (ARIA) - has been set up in Italy and will acquire a 120,000 sq m processing factory that currently belongs to ARIA.

The move would create partnerships for Princes and broaden its access to new markets, said MD Ken Critchley.

PIA would support the growth of Princes’ Napolina brand by giving Princes a more direct relationship with its Italian supply partners, the company added.