Private equity investor CapVest has acquired Irish pork producer M&M Walshe for its Eight Fifty Food Group vehicle, which already houses Karro and Young’s Seafood.
CapVest has acquired the company for an undisclosed sum and will integrate it into Eight Fifty’s pork division.
M&M Walshe, trading as RibWorld, Callan Bacon and Stirchley Bacon, employs around 550 people across three sites in Tipperary and Kilkenny in the Republic of Ireland and Redditch in the United Kingdom producing gammon, bacon and sous-vide meat products.
Post-transaction, Eight Fifty will have sales of circa £1.4bn and employ more than 7,500 people across 19 sites in the UK and Ireland.
The Walshe family, who have operated M&M Walshe since its foundation in 1981, will remain involved with the business as part of the deal.
CapVest bought pork giant Karro in April 2017 and added Young’s Seafood to the business in July last year after an extended deal process.
Di Walker, group CEO of Eight Fifty Food Group, said: “Eight Fifty have been working with the Walshe and Clohessy families for over 30 years and have seen their business grow significantly to become one of Europe’s largest sous-vide specialists today. We’re delighted to welcome M&M Walshe into the Eight Fifty Food Group and look forward to continue growing with them.”
John Walshe added: “The interest shown in our business is a great reflection of the quality of our products, our people and our loyal customer base. We look forward to working with Di Walker and the Eight Fifty team and seeing the business flourish under new ownership.”
Jason Rodrigues, partner at CapVest, said: “M&M Walshe is an exciting first step for Eight Fifty out of the UK, and underlines our ambition to become a market leader in European food. We look forward to working closely with management to accelerate investment and leverage the Eight Fifty platform to drive European sales of their sous-vide products.”
The is M&M Walshe remains subject to standard closing conditions and approval from the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.