J&J Tranfield takes a big bite

One of UK's biggest sausage manufacturers, J&J Tranfield has announced that it is to purchase the meat products division of Hull-based Canterbury Foods Group, subject to shareholder approval, for £4.5 million.

A spokesman for J&J Tranfield said that up to 180 jobs will be safeguarded at Canterbury's meat production facilities in Hull and Stoke-on-Trent should the deal be ratified at an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders on 22 December 2005. The deal does not affect any part of Canterbury Foods' except the meat productions division which produces frozen burger and sausages.

Based in Sheffield, privately owned J&J Tranfield supplies many of the UK's supermarkets with own label frozen and chilled sausages. In a company statement J& J Tranfield said, "The acquisition of the Canterbury Foods division forms part of a long term strategic growth plan and reinforces the company's position as the number one manufacturer in its sector by volume.

Canterbury Foods blamed a significant rise in raw material prices incurred in the Meat Products Division and a 10 per cent decline in burger sales for fall in its full year sales for the strategic disposal.

The net initial proceeds of the Meat Products disposal (after expenses) are expected to be £3.9 million and will be applied to reducing the Group's debt. The assets being transferred under the Meat Disposal Agreement had an aggregate value in the Group's consolidated accounts as of 30 June 2005 of £9.2 million.