Ter Beke Assumes Control of KK Fine Foods in UK
Waarschoot, Belgium-headquartered Ter Beke has acquired 90% of the shares of KK Fine Foods PLC, a Deeside, Flintshire, UK-based producer of frozen ready meals. The remaining 10% remains in the hands of existing shareholders. The valuation was done at standard multiples in the ready meals business.
The takeover gives Ter Beke a firm foothold in the United Kingdom, which is the largest market for ready meals in Europe. With turnover of EUR 39.3 million (£36.2 million) last year, KK is a major player in both the foodservice and retail ready meals sectors, where it has achieved double digit growth for many years.
Leyla Edwards, the founder and chief executive officer of KK, started the business in 1987 after formulating a number of new recipes and dishes. Today’s extensive offerings range from Indian and Italian dishes to Chinese, Mexican, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Middle-Eastern and South American cuisine. Her passion for cooking and working with chefs is big reason for the company’s success – especially in the foodservice sector.
The link-up between the two companies will allow Ter Beke, which specializes in the production and sale of processed meat products and ready meals including lasagna and pasta-based dishes, the opportunity to further penetrate the British market and especially target the domestic pub and restaurant trade. Operating at 10 industrial locations in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Poland and the UK, Ter Beke has some 2,300 employees. The company has been listed on Euronext Brussels since 1986, and in 2016 realized a turnover of EUR 418.6 million.
Dirk Goeminne, Ter Beke’s chief executive officer, commented: “KK’s passion for the food business is exceptional and should be nurtured. For that reason, we have made a conscious decision for KK Fine Foods to continue operating independently.”
As such, Managing Director Samir Edwards, Leyla’s son, remains at the helm.
He remarked: “The exciting thing for myself and the team is that we can continue to service our existing customers’ needs and provide them with the benefits of additional capacity that we intend to build into the business over the next 12 months. Innovation and creativity really have been the cornerstone of KK’s successes to date, and we intend on keeping this firm focus.”
Other Ter Beke Acquisitions
In July of this year, Ter Beke took over Mézidon-Canon, France-based Stefano Toselli, a frozen and chilled pasta meal maker. It also assumed full control of Pasta Food Company, based in Opole, Poland. As a result, turnover increased by EUR 80 million on an annual basis. The acquisition of KK Fine Foods means that the ready meals division will be able to consolidate its position and boundaries, quite literally, will be pushed back as a result.
Meanwhile, earlier this month Ter Beke announced that it intends to acquire Cebaco Meats Products Netherlands BV, the fresh foods business unit of the Zwanenberg Food Group. Sealing the deal will mean an additional EUR 130.6 million in revenues for the company’s processed meals division, and boost the group’s total annual turnover to approximately EUR 670 million.