Leading poultry groups acquire Capestone, Banham Poultry

During the past week, two unrelated takeovers involving chicken producers in the U.K. have been announced.

Yurii Bukhanovskyi, Bigstock
Yurii Bukhanovskyi, Bigstock

During the past week, two unrelated takeovers involving chicken producers in the U.K. have been announced.

Based in Wales, organic poultry producer Capestone has been acquired by Europe’s largest poultry company, LDC Group of France. 

Meanwhile, Banham Poultry is set to become a sister company to 2  Sisters Good Group, which is already the No. 1 poultry company in the U.K. 

Capestone plans to double its chicken growers in Wales

LDC Group has purchased a majority stake in Capestone Organic Poultry, reported Wales Farmer. The sum has not been disclosed.

Around 20 years ago, the present family company was set up in Pembrokeshire by Justin Scale. Over the intervening years, the business has grown to one that now supplies 7% of the U.K.’s free-range and organic poultry market. In 2020, sales reached around GBP28 million (US$38.5 million).

With the support of LDC, Scale said the company plans to increase by a factor of two its number of growers in Wales from the present 15, and weekly production to 120,000 birds. In this way, the acquisition will benefit the local economy, according to chief executive Rob Cumine. 

As a minor shareholder, Scale said he will remain involved in the business.

For LDC, the acquisition of Capestone represents its first investment in the U.K., reports the source. The group may have been attracted by the potential of the business. Since Brexit — when the U.K. left the European Union — demand from the country’s retailers for home-produced organic and free-range poultry meat has been strong. 

In addition, Capestone sells Christmas turkeys and other organic meats (beef, lamb, pork, and salmon), and it supplies baby food manufacturers. 

According to the company’s web site, Capestone originally began poultry production in 1920, when it was founded by father and son Benjamin and Jack Scale. 

Boparan acquires 'struggling' Banham Poultry

Based in Attleborough, Norfolk, Banham Poultry has been acquired by Boparan Private Office, reported Eastern Daily Press last week. No details of the deal are given.

Boparan Private Office is owned by food entrepreneur Ranjit Singh Boparan. Boparan already owns the U.K.’s largest poultry company, 2 Sisters Food Group, and turkey company, Bernard Matthews.

According to a letter from the Office to Banham employees, the deal will secure the jobs of the company’s 1,000-strong workforce, as well as the future of its suppliers across the region. 

The letter refers to Banham’s struggles since it was taken over by Chesterfield Poultry in 2018, despite investments by the new owner. 

In 2020, the plant was forced to close temporarily due to staff absences as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Following a chemical spill in August this year, in which two people died, there is to be an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive. 

Banham Poultry Ltd. supplies chicken to major supermarkets, other established stores and wholesalers throughout the U.K. The company has its own transport department covering live, chilled and frozen products. About 55% of production is whole birds, and 45% is portions. 

More on LDC Group

With annual slaughterings of around 578  million birds, LDC is the largest poultry company operating mainly in Europe, according to the WATTPoultry Top Poultry Companies database. 

Operating from more than 80 production sites in Europe, LDC has a number of poultry meat brands in its product portfolio. Exports account for 17% of its total sales. 

In recent years, LDC has made numerous acquisitions. Among the more recent deals was in December of 2020, when the Group acquired a majority share of Asia General Food, which is an Asian food company that specializes in the manufacture of sushi. In May of this year, the Group took over most of the Ronsard Group from Eureden. 

More on 2 Sisters Food Group

In the U.K., 2  Sisters Food Group is the top poultry meat producer. It produces 323 million birds per year, according to the WATTPoultry database. 

Part of Boparan Holdings — one of the country’s largest food producers — 2 Sisters Food Group is among the leading privately held companies in the U.K. It supplies around one-third of all poultry products consumed in the country, and operates a European Poultry division. 

Also part of the holding company in East Anglia are Bernard Matthews plants in Great Witchingham and Holton, which serve 56 farms and employ around 2,000 people, as well as 2 Sisters’ factories in Flixton and Thetford, with a workforce of hundreds.

Outlining the present inflationary pressures of the nation’s food supply chain, Ranjit Singh Boparan has recently warned of rising food prices for U.K. consumers.

Page 1 of 1580
Next Page