Avanti Patel Valeo Foods

Avanti Patel was responsible for numerous acquisitions and investment while at Tate & Lyle

Deal hungry ambient food group Valeo Foods has signalled its intent to continue a global acquisition spree with the appointment of a head of M&A. 

Avanti Patel joins the Ireland-headquartered group from listed ingredients supplier Tate & Lyle, where she held the role of corporate development director. 

She was responsible for a number of acquisitions, partnerships and investments across the US, Europe and Asia while at the firm. 

Prior to Tate & Lyle, Patel held similar M&A roles with packaging giant DS Smith and Thomas Cook Group after beginning her career in investment banking. 

She will lead Valeo’s global acquisition programme, with the support of US private equity owner Bain Capital, which bought the Irish group in a £1.5bn deal last year

Since its establishment in 2010, Valeo has expanded rapidly, acquiring 19 businesses to create a major international ambient food player with products sold in more than 106 countries around the world. 

The group’s portfolio includes the likes of Jacob’s, Rowse, Kettle, Odlums, Barratt and Balconi. 

Its most recent deal to snap up Canadian maple syrup processor Bernard was Valeo’s first in North America, adding a further €95m to annual turnover of more than €1.1bn. 

CEO Seamus Kearney welcomed Patel to the group as it looked to accelerate growth and expand further around the world. 

“Valeo Foods is on a journey to becoming a leading global food business and Avanti’s proven track record of identifying highly complementary acquisition targets and managing complex transaction processes will further strengthen our senior leadership team as we focus on our next phase of growth,” he said. 

Patel added: “I am delighted to be joining Valeo Foods at such an exciting time in the group’s growth journey. 

“Valeo Foods is a very ambitious and agile business, and I am looking forward to building on its M&A success to date by pursuing new bolt-on and transformational acquisition opportunities that drive further growth.” 

Valeo currently owns 83 food brands, with 13 category leaders among its portfolio, operating 28 factories across the UK, Ireland, Canada and continental Europe.