The owners of some of Ireland’s best known consumer food brands are to merge, forming a business with a combined turnover of approximately €300m.

Valeo Foods, which counts Batchelors, Picnic, and Shamrock among its portfolio, is buying Jacob Fruitfield Food Group for an undisclosed sum. Jacob Fruitfield’s products include Jacob’s biscuits, Chef sauces, Fruitfield jams and marmalades and Scots Clan sweets and confectionery.

The combined company will have a workforce of nearly 500, subject to regulatory approval. Jacob Fruitfield managing director Seamus Kearney will become group chief executive of Valeo when the deal is completed.

Valeo chairman Seamus Fitzpatrick said: “Given the tough trading environment, growing the business to allow investment behind our brands makes strong commercial sense. Our acquisition of Jacob Fruitfield is a significant step in what is likely to be an ongoing process of further consolidation in the Irish food sector.”

He added: “The enlarged Valeo that will emerge from this deal will be a more diversified and resilient Irish food company, well positioned for further growth.”