Valeo Foods Group has confirmed the acquisition of Kettle from US owner Campbell Soup Co, in a deal valuing the struggling premium crisps brand at £66m.
The deal, which includes the Kettle, Go Pure and Metcalfe’s operations across the UK, Europe and the Middle East, is set to take Valeo’s annual sales to nearly €1bn a year.
Campbell retains ownership of the brand and its operations in the US.
On completion of the acquisition – following regulatory approvals and consultation with employee representative bodies – Kettle will join the CapVest-backed company’s portfolio alongside brands of the likes of Rowse Honey, Barratt, Jacob’s and Fox’s.
Valeo said it would also look to expand Kettle’s international export business by leveraging the group’s existing supply chain, which distributes to approximately 90 countries globally.
“The global snacking segment continues to grow and the proposed acquisition of Kettle Foods provides a great opportunity to further strengthen our expanding portfolio of international brands,” said Valeo CEO Seamus Kearney.
“This acquisition is consistent with our long-term goal of building a dynamic international portfolio of attractive, resilient and popular food brands that consumers love to enjoy.”
The news follows reports from The Grocer at the beginning of August that Valeo had entered exclusive talks to buy Kettle, which was put up for sale earlier this year after plunging deep into the red – posting a pre-tax loss of £4.4m in the period from 1 January to 31 July 2018.
At the time, City sources told The Grocer that despite not being “the most profitable business in the world” Kettle “fits the Valeo model pretty well” and was a “logical deal” for the company which is known for buying businesses requiring “some kind of turnaround”.
The deal is the latest in a swirl of M&A activity in the crisp segment since last year, following the sales of crisp makers Tyrrells and Pipers to Intersnack and PepsiCo respectively.