Seafood giant Young's and frozen food group Findus are to be brought together under a new umbrella structure by owner CapVest next month.

The Foodvest Group, which will have a turnover of £1.1bn making it one of the largest seafood and frozen food companies in Europe, will be run by Per Harkjaer, the current Findus president and CEO.

The Dane, to whom the heads of the five Findus divisions across Europe will continue to report, has spent more than 25 years in the food industry, including senior roles at Mars, Unigate (now Uniq) and The Toms Confectionery Group.

Young's current chief executive Wynne Griffiths will become non-executive chairman of Foodvest and former Young's deputy chief executive Mike Parker will be Griffiths' deputy.

Under the new structure, the HR and purchasing functions of the two companies will be centralised.

Though the businesses will otherwise be run separately, the UK operation of Young's will be split in two.

Young's commercial director Jim Cane will become MD of Young's Seafood, which will operate as a branded business.

Meanwhile, Peter Ward, currently in charge of Young's chilled business, will be MD of The Seafood Company, a new business focused on the development of own label chilled seafood products.

The new operations each account for about half of Young's existing business.

CapVest acquired Young's in 2002 and Findus in 2006. The new umbrella group will have market-leading positions in frozen and chilled seafood in the UK, frozen seafood, vegetables and ready meals in France, and frozen food in Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Harkjaer said he wanted it to become a world leader in responsible seafood sourcing and good environmental practice.

"It is my ambition that Foodvest will become the most successful food company in Europe - as measured by growth, customer satisfaction and product quality," he said.

"We need to continue to be highly focused, efficient and innovative to deliver on the fantastic opportunities we have before us."