Leeds-based food manufacturer Symington’s has announced its first major international push – taking on three Unilever brands for the Australian and New Zealand market.

Symington’s is to license Unilever’s wet sauces portfolio down under, including Chicken Tonight, and pasta sauce brands Raguletto and Five Brothers. Under the terms of the deal, the three ranges will continue to be produced at Unilever’s factory in Victoria, Australia.

Symington’s is setting up a subsidiary office in Melbourne to oversee the portfolio and develop its branded and private-label business in Australia.

The company took on Unilever’s Chicken Tonight and Ragu brands in the UK in August 2011. It has launched new products under the brands and marketing initiatives that it says has grown sales by an average of 15% year-on-year.

“This venture will allow Symington’s to do what it does best – invest in new products and brands and reintroduce them to consumers who can then enjoy them afresh,” said Symington’s CEO David Salkeld. “We have a great relationship with Unilever and are delighted to have the opportunity to do what we did for Chicken Tonight and Ragu in the UK with our retail customers and consumers ‘down under’.”