Greencore buys sandwich company

Irish food company Greencore has bought rival food manufacturer Uniq for £113m, after losing out in its purchase of Northern Foods to Ranjit Boparan earlier this year.

Patrick Coveney, chief executive officer of Greencore, said that the acquisition would broaden Greencore’s commercial footprint and that the two companies had substantial synergies.

He said: “It represents an important milestone as we extend the scale and leadership positions of our Group in the UK convenience market. I am very excited about bringing together the Greencore and Uniq teams to deliver on this opportunity.”

Geoff Eaton, chief executive officer of Uniq, said: “Today’s announcement is the best possible result for all concerned. It is a good offer from a strong business that provides an excellent strategic fit and, as such, represents the best outcome for employees, pension members and shareholders, as well as an exciting opportunity for Greencore.

“The Uniq team has done an exceptional job over the past two years to find a solution to Uniq’s pension scheme issues, whilst continuing to deliver a high quality service to our customers. As a result, the building blocks are in place for the Uniq businesses to realise their full potential with a committed, long-term owner, such as Greencore.”

Greencore manufacturers chilled prepared and ready-to-cook meals as well as meat spreads, quiches and savoury flans, and sandwiches. It supplies in excess of 100m meals a year to a UK customers through the multiples, convenience stores and foodservice distribution.

Uniq specialises in desserts and ready-to-go products for own-label and branded products supplying all the major UK food retailers, food service businesses and branded food manufacturers. It employs around 2,200 people across four manufacturing sites in the UK.

>Sales up 7.9% at Greencore