Northern Foods is to merge its Fox’s and Elkes biscuit subsidiaries, with Jeff Halliwell, MD of Fox’s, as MD of the newly created company.

The new arm will be based at Batley, Yorkshire. Northern Foods stressed that Fox’s would continue to focus mainly on branded products and Elkes would still target the own label market. The company added it had no intention to close Fox’s factories at Batley and Kirkham, Lancashire or Elkes’ plant at Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. However, it was too early to say whether any products would be axed after the merger.

Elkes MD Stuart Kennedy will
be development director. Fox’s sales director James Langan will retain that title, while Elkes commercial director Simon Smith will become marketing director. Fox’s supply chain director Tony McLoughlin, Elkes personnel director Steve Brooker and Fox’s finance director Mike Richards will all keep their roles.

Northern Foods has yet to decide on any job losses.

A spokeswoman said: “We are looking at opportunities for synergies.

“Where there are duplications of role, there will be a proper process of selection based on skills and knowledge.”

She said Northern Foods was making the changes in response to fierce competition in the biscuit market and to satisfy a wider range of customer requirements.
Rod Addy