Glisten, the food group focused on niche sectors, has bought Halo Foods Group, the producer of own-brand snack bars and confectionery, for £5.638m with a further sum of up to £8m depending on performance in 2005 and 2006.

Halo Foods produces around 200 million bars, including sports, energy, protein, weight loss, meal replacement, lite, cereal, organic and nutraceutical bars.

The Halo Group, which has sales of £30m per year, also includes Nimbus Foods, a specialist producer of products such as biscuit, cereal, fudge, honeycomb, meringue and toffee.

Peter Saunders is to remain as chairman and managing director of Halo Foods but is likely to step down as managing director in the New Year when a new appointment will be made.

Jeremy Hamer, chairman of Glisten, said: “This is clearly the most significant acquisition we have made since admission to AIM in June 2002, not only doubling our sales but taking us into the fast growing cereal bar market.

With this acquisition we can now develop Glisten in three distinct sectors of confectionery, cereal bars and ingredients, all of which satisfy our criteria of being niche.”

Since floatation the company has acquired several complimentary businesses and the group reported pre-tax profits of £1.80m for the year, up from £1.36m the year before. The acquisition of the Halo Foods Group will double the size of Glisten.