Jacksons Bakery owner William Jackson Food Group has sold its Aunt Bessie’s brand to Nomad Foods.
Nomad, which this year acquired Goodfella’s pizza, has paid around £210m for Aunt Bessie’s – the UK’s number one frozen Yorkshire pudding brand and number two frozen potato brand. The deal, expected to complete in the third quarter of this year, includes a production facility in Hull.
Late last year, Yorkshire-based Jacksons announced it was investing £40m in a second factory to supply bread for sandwich manufacturers. The ‘state-of-the-art bakery’ is set to be operational this summer.
“As a responsible business owner we must do what we believe is right for every one of our businesses and this sale presents a great, long-term opportunity for Aunt Bessie’s,” said William Jackson Food Group (WJFG) chairman Nicholas Oughtred.
“Aunt Bessie’s has come a long way with us. We’ve invested heavily in developing the business and the brand, and Nomad Foods is well placed to take the business even further.
“Nomad Foods is a well-known food group with a strong commitment to the frozen category, incredible experience, scale and investment capabilities and I’m sure Aunt Bessie’s will continue to thrive.”
Aunt Bessie’s generated £108m revenues in the financial year ended April 2018, with adjusted EBITDA of £20m.
Nomad said the combination of Aunt Bessie’s, Birds Eye and Goodfella’s was expected to result in a “highly complementary portfolio with significantly enhanced scale, greater diversification and more resources to accelerate category growth”.
“Aunt Bessie’s iconic brand, positive values and strong product credentials align well with our existing portfolio,” added Nomad Foods chief executive officer Stefan Descheemaeker. “Aunt Bessie’s represents another step towards our goal of transforming the frozen food category and building a portfolio of best-in-class food brands.
“Aunt Bessie’s significantly expands our presence within potatoes, one of the largest categories in frozen food, while adding another dimension to our growing portfolio in the United Kingdom.”