Premier Foods has completed the disposal of its canned grocery operations to Princes in a cash deal worth £182m.

Last month, The Office of Fair Trade said the deal could lead to competition concerns and ordered the sale of the Fray Bentos pie brand and some manufacturing assets.

Princes’ acquisition includes two UK canning sites at Long Sutton and Wisbech in East Anglia, which employ over 1,000 people and several brands including Crosse & Blackwell, Farrow’s and Smedley's.

Premier’s Branston and Batchelors brands will remain under its ownership but are being licensed to Princes on a long-term arrangement for the manufacture of specific products including Branston baked beans and Batchelors canned soups.

The Fray Bentos brand, business and certain manufacturing assets will be sold by Princes following the acquisition and until then will be run on an independent basis from Princes.

The deal boosts Princes’ annual revenues to £1.5bn.

“This acquisition is an excellent strategic fit for our group and will enable us to further grow our business in the UK and continental Europe by offering our customers a broader range of ambient food products,” said Princes MD Ken Critchley. 

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