Westbridge supplies chicken for ready meal makers

Poultry supplier Westbridge Food Group has been snapped up by Thai food conglomerate CP Foods (CPF) in a deal worth £60m.

The transaction expands the Thai group’s exposure in Europe and the UK and grows its distribution network to retailers, food manufacturers and the foodservice industry.

Worcestershire-headquartered Westbridge, established in 1998, supplies cooked, coated, roast and raw chicken to the supermarkets and discounters. It also sells a range of turkey, duck and seafood products and makes pizza toppings, sandwich fillings, party food and desserts for ready meal manufacturers.

Revenues in 2015 fell £26.4m (6.8%) to £340m as a result of lower commodity prices and a continued focus on added-value products ranges, which helped EBITDA rise by almost £1m to £6.2m, according to the most recent accounts available at Companies House.

“The investment in Westbridge will allow CPF to expand its distribution network for retails, food services and food manufacturers in the UK and the EU countries which have a high potentiality,” said CPF chairman Adirek Sripratak.

“Most of Westbridge’s markets are new customers group rather than existing clients. Its products mainly involve chicken, shrimp, fish and processed foods, which are in line with CPF’s products.”

He added that the acquisition gave CPF an import quota licence for chicken products to the EU as Westbridge had more than 100 subsidiaries in the UK and the Netherlands that had import quota.

“This investment will encourage CPF’s export opportunities to UK and European countries,” he said.

Westbridge has a packing factory in Merseyside, as well as its site in Malvern, with a presence in Poland, Thailand, China and Brazil.

Charoen Pokphand Foods used subsidiary company CPF Investment Ltd to purchase Westbridge.