2 Sisters Food Group has agreed to acquire Vion’s poultry and red meat processing businesses in the UK. The acquisition secures a viable future for these businesses, as well as providing certainty to their UK supply chain, which is underpinned by British farmers. The acquisition will help to meet growing demand from 2 Sisters’ poultry customers and further diversifies the company’s offering to include red meat, supporting 2 Sisters’ strategy of serving more meal occasions.
The acquisition follows the announcement by Vion’s Dutch parent company on November 19, 2012, of its plan to exit its UK operations. Vion’s poultry and red meat businesses are suppliers of poultry, beef and lamb to the retail and food service sectors in the UK and Europe. They have 11 processing sites in the UK and approximately 6,000 employees and have suffered from challenging trading conditions, in particular in poultry, with the loss of a number of major contracts.
“We are delighted to be acquiring Vion UK’s poultry and red meat businesses,” said Ranjit Singh, chief executive of 2 Sisters Food Group. “They have faced significant uncertainty and tough trading in recent months, but today’s acquisition secures a viable future. With the majority of the operations being in Scotland and Wales, we are delighted that the Scottish and Welsh governments are supportive of this deal and we look forward to working with them and developing a sustainable future for these businesses.
"This acquisition will safeguard a key supply chain for high quality British poultry and meat, offering reassurance to farmers in England, Scotland and Wales and upholding the quality and provenance that UK customers and consumers deserve.
"At 2 Sisters, we put the customer at the heart of everything we do and in line with our customers’ strategies, these businesses will help us to shorten the supply chain for consumers and meet growing demand for British sourced food. Our immediate focus will be to improve performance, as we have successfully done with our previous acquisitions. We look forward to welcoming Vion colleagues to 2 Sisters Food Group, and to working together to grow our business.”
Edwina Hart AM, Welsh business minister, said: “I welcome today's announcement that 2 Sisters is to acquire Vion’s poultry and red meat businesses, which safeguards the future of their operations in Wales. We have been working closely with both Vion and 2 Sisters to help secure this deal in order to sustain the future for the workers and the supply chain in Wales."
John Swinney MSP, secretary for finance, employment and sustainable growth in the Scottish Government, said: "I am delighted that 2 Sisters Food Group has agreed to buy Vion. I first called for a sale last November because of the uncertainty facing Vion and its importance to the Scottish food sector. Today's announcement is a significant step forward and my officials and I look forward to working with 2 Sisters over the coming months, in order to secure a sustainable future for Vion and its plants in Scotland."