Cutting raw chicken

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Smithfield Murray supplies prepared raw poultry to manufacturers for retailers and the foodservice industry

Smithfield Murray has been snapped up by Endless to bring the poultry processor together with the private equity firm’s other protein business, Yorkshire Premier Meat (YPM).

Endless said the move to combine the two companies created a group with a joint turnover of £115m that would be a “major force” in UK value-added protein.

Headquartered in Manchester, Smithfield Murray supplies prepared raw poultry to manufacturers for retailers and the foodservice industry.

The existing management team and founding shareholders Damien Murray and Martin Grady will continue to lead the business.

The deal follows last year’s investment by Endless in YPM, which supplies meat ingredients to manufacturers of ready meals, canned goods and savoury pasties and pies, as well as the direct-to-consumer subscription box meal market.

YPM’s board is chaired by Di Walker, the former CEO of Karro Foods and Eight Fifty Group.

Endless added the combination of the two businesses offered “significant opportunities” to service customers with a “flexible multi-protein supply”.

Walker said: “Despite the challenges being faced in the poultry supply chain at this time, the business has proved itself to offer exceptional levels of service quality.

“[This deal] is transformational for both businesses, with fantastic potential for growth and further follow-on investment.”

Smithfield Murray CEO Damien Murray added: “It is fantastic to be joining forces with Endless and the YPM team.

“Everyone at Smithfield Murray has worked incredibly hard to create the quality of business we have today, and we’re excited about the job creation opportunities this investment will bring in the future. This also opens up exciting opportunities for growth, working closely with our loyal customers and suppliers.”

UK-headquartered Endless is well-known for its investments in the food and drink industry, currently backing Hovis, own-label cake manufacturer Bright Blue Foods (BBF), oil supplier KTC Edibles. And petfood supplier Kennelpak.

It also previously invested in pork processor Karro, which it sold to CapVest, freeze-dried foods manufacture Chaucer, which it sold to Japanese firm Nagatanien Holdings, and West Cornwall Pasty Co, which it sold to Samworth Brothers.