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Nomad Foods to buy UK frozen food brand Aunt Bessie’s for EUR240m

FBR Staff Writer Published 05 June 2018

Nomad Foods has agreed to acquire UK-based frozen food brand Aunt Bessie’s from William Jackson & Son for about €240m to expand into frozen potato and frozen Yorkshirepuddings categories.

Aunt Bessie’s manufactures, distributes and sells a variety of branded frozen food products.

The frozen Yorkshire puddings and frozen potatoes categories, when combined, make up the majority of Aunt Bessie’s revenues.

Aunt Bessie’s generated revenue of around €123m for the fiscal year that ended April 2018.

William Jackson Food Group chairman Nicholas Oughtred said: “As a responsible business owner we must do what we believe is right for every one of our businesses and this sale presents a great, long-term opportunity for Aunt Bessie’s.

“Aunt Bessie’s has come a long way with us. We’ve invested heavily in developing the business and the brand, and Nomad Foods is well placed to take the business even further.”

Nomad Foods through the acquisition is expecting to further develop its portfolio in the UK.

The combination of Aunt Bessie’s, Birds Eye and Goodfella’s is expected to result in a complementary portfolio with improved scale, better diversification and more resources to speed up category growth, said Nomad Foods.

Through the transaction, Nomad Foods will also own Aunt Bessie’s production facility located in Hull, England.

Nomad Foods CEO Stefan Descheemaeker said: “Aunt Bessie’s iconic brand, positive values and strong product credentials align well with our existing portfolio. As our second accretive acquisition in 2018, Aunt Bessie’s represents another step toward our goal of transforming the frozen food category and building a portfolio of best-in-class food brands.

“Aunt Bessie’s significantly expands our presence within potatoes, one of the largest categories in frozen food, while adding another dimension to our growing portfolio in the United Kingdom.”

The acquisition of Aunt Bessie’s is anticipated to be closed during the third quarter of this year. It will be subject to certain closing conditions including receipt of required regulatory approvals.

In April, Nomad Foods completed its €200m acquisition of Ireland-based Green Isle Foods (Goodfella's Pizza), the former frozen pizza business from Boparan.

Headquartered in the UK, Nomad Foods produces, markets and distributes frozen food brands across 17 countries, and has a significant market share in Western Europe.

Image: Aunt Bessie’s Rosemary & Sea Salt Chips. Photo: courtesy of William Jackson Food Group Limited.