Britain's 'Chicken King' Boparan sells off Goodfella's in €225m deal
The owner of the Birds Eye and Findus food brands has agreed a €225m deal to buy Green Isle Food's Goodfella's Pizzas, including operations in Kildare and Longford.
Nomad Foods is buying the Goodfella's business from Boparan Holdings, the group headed UK billionaire Ranjit Boparan, who's been dubbed Britain's 'Chicken King'.
Boparan's assets include Fox's Biscuits and Bernard Matthews.
In Ireland, Monaghan-based Grove Farm was bought two years ago by Ranjit Boparan's private investment vehicle.
Goodfella's manufactures and distributes branded and private-label frozen pizzas in Ireland and the United Kingdom, where it holds number one and number two market share positions respectively. The acquisition also includes the San Marco brand.
The business employs approximately 430 people at manufacturing sites in Kildare and Longford, a logistics team in Naas and a commercial team in the UK, based in Yorkshire.
All staff will join Nomad Foods on completion of the deal, the companies said.
Goodfella's brands include San Marco, and the deal is expected to boost Nomad's revenues by €150m per year, and raise earnings by between €22m and €25m two years after the takeover closes. The sale is expected to be sealed by the first quarter of 2018.
Nomad was set up in 2014 by US billionaire Martin E Franklin, GLG hedge fund founder Noam Gottesman, initially listed on the London Stock Exchange as a food sector investment vehicle. It paid £1.9bn for Birds Eye and a further £500m for Findus, and is now listed in New York.
Nomad CEO Stefan Descheemaeker said the deal was strategic for the business.
"Goodfella's Pizza creates a new and exciting growth avenue into frozen pizza, a strategic category that is both sizeable and complementary.
"We have a strong foundation in place and are well positioned to create shareholder value as we apply our proven toolkit of capabilities to Goodfella's Pizza and further develop our portfolio of iconic and market-leading brands."
Mr Boparan was nicknamed the 'Chicken King' because of his hefty involvement in the poultry trade through his ownership of the 2 Sisters Food Group.
The Goodfella's purchase price is expected to be funded through cash on hand and the transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018, subject to certain closing conditions, Nomad said.