Bearfields employs more than 100 staff at its East London base and supplies cooked and raw ham to customers including Lidl and Costco

Irish food group O’Brien Fine Foods has entered the UK market following the takeover of ham producer Bearfields of London for an undisclosed sum.

Established in 1906, Bearfields is a family-run business spanning three generations. It currently employs more than 100 staff at its East London base and supplies cooked and raw ham – both branded and own label – to customers including Lidl and Costco, as well as pub and café groups, catering businesses and independent retailers.

The business generated profits of £1.4m on revenues of £22.4m in the year ended 31 July 2020, according to the latest available accounts at Companies House.

O’Brien Fine Foods is one of Ireland’s leading producers of cooked meats, including the Brady Family, Homebird and Green Farm brands.

A team of more than 500-strong operate from three dedicated facilities in County Kildare, County Westmeath and County Meath, supplying branded and private label meat products to the Irish operations of Tesco and Lidl, as well as Dunnes, Musgrave Group and BWG Foods.

The group’s latest acquisition will allow O’Brien to fulfil its growth ambitions in the UK market.

MD John O’Brien said: “This acquisition allows us to enter the UK market with an established and successful business, and we look forward to working to develop the brand and offering further through investment in the business and the people.”

Bearfields MD Steve Bearfield added the deal was a positive development and “a great opportunity” for both businesses.

“The merger means we’re becoming part of a larger business,” he said. “With the expertise of John and his team, we can capitalise on this scale for our employees, suppliers, and customers.

“The acquisition is testament to the hard work and strong business that our team has built over the past 100 years, and I look forward to working with the O’Brien Fine Foods team in further developing the Bearfields of London brand.”

O’Brien added: “In Bearfields of London, we’ve found a strategic partner and a business of real substance that shares many of our strengths and values.

“Our continued growth is testament to the success of the business and the talent and expertise of the O’Brien Fine Foods team in Ireland. We will bring this knowledge and knowhow to bear in working with the Bearfields team, while opportunity exists for our people, customers and suppliers as a result of this acquisition.”