Irish beef baron Larry Goodman has acquired a 5% stake in the recently floated Hilton Food Group, one of Tesco's largest beef suppliers.

His company, Irish Food Processors, spent around £5.5m on the deal but, with shares in just 50% of the company floated on the stock exchange, a takeover would not be possible without the agreement of Hilton's major shareholders.

Hilton generated turnover of £358m last year, with pre-tax profit of £10.5m. More than a third of its revenue is derived from sales to Tesco and it also supplies Ahold in Poland, Albert Heijn in the Netherlands and ICA in Sweden.