Greencore completes acquisition of US firm Peacock Foods

Convenience food firm Greencore has completed its acquisition of US business Peacock Foods

Greencore, which describes itself as the largest sandwich manufacturer in the world, is to ramp up its US profile after paying $747.5m (£594.3m) for Illinois-based Peacock.

The US business operates in categories including frozen breakfast sandwiches, kids’ chilled meal kits and salad kits, and generated revenues of around $1bn (£800m) and adjusted EBITDA of $72.1m (£57.5m) in the year to September 2016.

“The acquisition of Peacock will transform our US business, strengthen our position in high-growth categories, broaden our channel and customer exposure, and add significant scale to our operations,” said Greencore CEO Patrick Coveney, when the deal was first announced last November.

Peacock operates from seven facilities, which will create a network with five times the footprint of Greencore’s current US operation.

“We believe Peacock’s success is built on the same fundamental strategy and values that drive Greencore, making products that consumers love, building deep, longstanding relationships with customers, investing in high-quality manufacturing capacity, food safety capability and people,” added Coveney.

The US firm has longstanding relationships with businesses including Tyson Foods, The Kraft Heinz Company and Dole, and Greencore executives have met with customers representing about 70% of Peacock’s revenues.

In November, Peacocok Foods CEO Tom Sampson said: “We have been particularly struck by the similarities in the way we run our businesses and our mutual long-term commitment to the US convenience food market. We are excited by the opportunity we now have to leverage Greencore’s expertise in innovation.”

Greencore’s new US division, which will include Peacock, will be led by Chris Kirke, while Sampson will become a senior advisor to manage customer transition and integration over the next two years.

The acquisition is being financed through a combination of a fully underwritten rights issue offered to qualifying shareholders, to raise £439.4m, and about £200m in debt facilities.

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