Saturday 17 March 2018

Kepcar consortium buys Greene Farm assets from receiver

Kenneth Greene
Kenneth Greene
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Assets of one of the country's largest chicken meat producers - Greene Farm Foods - have been sold by a receiver after plans by a consortium that included the Kepak group to take a majority share unravelled.

However, the assets have been acquired by the same consortium - Kepcar Investments - comprised of Kepak and Co Roscommon firm Oliver Carty.

It was announced last December that the pair had formed the joint venture to acquire a majority stake in Co Westmeath-based Greene Farm Foods. The planned deal was hailed then as having the potential to unlock significant synergies. Greene Farm MD Ken Greene said the brand would continue to be developed, and the deal would bring a "new developmental dynamic".

But negotiations collapsed in the final stages.

Last week, Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton was appointed receiver over certain assets of Green Farm Foods Ltd, which traded as Greene Farm Foods, by Ulster Bank. The Kepak and Oliver Carty venture said that the appointment came as a result of the "failure of initial negotiations" between them and Greene Farm Foods.

The joint venture confirmed it has since acquired the assets and business of Green Farm Foods Ltd from the receiver.

"Each of the parties will now leverage their undoubted synergistic efforts to drive growth and innovation," said Kepak MD John Horgan and Ted Carty, MD of Oliver Carty.

"The development focus will be on anticipating customer trends and convenience in cooked meats," they added. "It is also very important to all concerned that the 170 jobs will be secured and hopefully, as business grows, that there will be opportunities to employ more people."

Mr Greene started the firm in 1991. It posted turnover of €28.1 and a €310,000 profit for 2015. Mr Greene worked on the family poultry farm and began his business career by selling chickens and turkeys to his classmates and their families.

He was an EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2015. After expanding in 2013, the firm later invested more than €6m in extending its production facilities, and €1.3m in packaging machinery, making the Westmeath premises one of the most modern food plants in Europe. Last year it received a €300,000 investment from Enterprise Ireland.

Irish Independent

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