Valeo Foods Group is to buy the Matthew Walker Christmas puddings business from 2 Sisters Food Group

Jacob’s and Rowse owner Valeo will pay £67m for Matthew Walker, which is based at Heanor, Derbyshire, and is claimed to be the world’s oldest Christmas pudding-maker.

Established in 1899, it employs around 200 staff and produces a range of puddings, seasonal sponges, cakes and free-from desserts for retail and foodservice.

“The strength of Matthew Walker’s market leadership combined with the strong consumer demand for its high-quality products make the business and its brands a great addition to our existing Valeo UK growth platform,” said Valeo Foods UK managing director Ian Ainsworth.

“We look forward to welcoming and working with our new colleagues in Matthew Walker as we pursue our ambitious growth plans for the business.”

Ranjit Singh, president of 2 Sisters owner Boparan Holdings, said the deal had good enterprise value, and underlined Boparan’s commitment to transforming its business.

“I wish all colleagues at Matthew Walker every future success with a good new owner,” he added.

The deal, which is expected to complete in the coming weeks, follows Valeo’s sale of inclusions supplier Nimbus Foods to Meadow Foods.

While owned by Valeo, Jacob’s biscuits are produced under licence in the UK by Pladis.