Greencore Bolsters US Operations with $747.5 Purchase of Illinois-Based Peacock Foods

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15 Nov 2016 --- Greencore is acquiring the US frozen sandwich maker Peacock Foods for $747.5m, which the Anglo-Irish food giant says will "transform" its US business.

Peacock, headquartered in Illinois, specializes in frozen branded sandwiches, kids' chilled meal kits and salad kits, where Peacock adds dressings and croutons to ready-to-eat salads.

Peacock, which operates from seven facilities in the US, made annual revenues of $993m and $40m in profit, according to its end of September 2016 results.

It is owned by Boston-based private equity company Charlesbank Capital Partners.

Greencore is Britain’s biggest sandwich maker and its purchase of Peacock marks its biggest acquisition to date and chief executive Patrick Coveney said he is "confident shareholders will like it".

Coveney said: “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.”

“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, most importantly, people. We are delighted to welcome the Peacock team into the Greencore group.”

Tom Sampson, Peacock Foods CEO, said “We are thrilled to be joining the Greencore team at this important time in our growth.  We have been particularly struck by the similarities in the way we run our business and our mutual long-term commitment to the US convenience food market.”

“We are excited by the opportunity that we now have to leverage Greencore’s expertise in innovation and fresh food manufacturing, thereby bringing a broader set of capabilities to our customers.”

Greencore cited Peacock's relationships with customers such as Tyson Foods and KraftHeinz as an important part of the deal while it will also hope the deal could lead to cross-selling opportunities.

Currently, Greencore makes sandwiches, salads and desserts in the US for customers including Starbucks. Around 15 percent of its sales come from the US but the acquisition of Peacock will boost it to around 42 percent.

To signify its ambition in the US, Greencore is forming a  new US division, bolstered by the inclusion of Peacock, will be led by the CEO of Greencore's US unit Chris Kirge while Thomas Sampson, Peacock's CEO, will be appointed as a senior advisor to Greencore.

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