Meat producer Cranswick has moved into poultry

Meat producer Cranswick has acquired premium poultry producer Benson Park in an undisclosed deal.

The purchase will allow Cranswick to move into a new protein sector, broadening both the group’s product range and its customer base, said Cranswick CEO Adam Couch.

Benson Park supplies poultry-based component ingredients for the sandwich, salad and wider chilled sector, and employs 90 staff at its factory in Hull. It reported revenues of £41.1m for the 12 months to 31 August.

Couch said the transaction would be funded from Cranswick’s existing debt facilities and was expected to be modestly earnings enhancing for the current financial year.

“This strategic investment moves Cranswick firmly into a new protein category with a well invested business that has a strong presence, supplying premium poultry products, in the fast growing food to go sector,” he added.

Benson Park MD David Park will remain with the company, which will also retain its brand.

“This deal gives the company a bright future,” he said. “We see continued growth under the Cranswick banner, and hope to take advantage of synergies between the two companies.”

He added that “all jobs are secure”, and “we intend to grow the business and create further employment opportunities”.

Darren Shirley, analyst for Shore Capital, described the deal as an “excellent strategic fit”, and “further builds upon management’s long standing aspiration to broaden the breadth of the business in a complementary manner”.

He added that he would not be surprised to see Cranswick “add further capability in the poultry segment” with further acquisitions.