Chicken king offloads Goodfella’s Pizza to Birds Eye owner Nomad Foods
The move will see the group take charge of the Goodfella’s and San Marco pizza brands.
The owner of Birds Eye has cooked up a 225 million euro deal (£199 million) to buy frozen food brand Goodfella’s Pizza from the parent company behind Fox’s Biscuits and Bernard Matthews.
Nomad Foods has snapped up Goodfella’s from Green Isle Foods, a subsidiary of Boparan Holdings which is spearheaded by the food mogul Ranjit Boparan.
It will see the group take charge of pizza brands Goodfella’s and San Marco, and two frozen pizza manufacturing facilities, as it eyes market expansion.
Goodfella’s, which is the market leader in Ireland and holds the second biggest market share in the UK, is expected to bolster Nomad’s revenues by 150 million euros (£133 million) and earnings by between 22 million euros (£19 million) and 25 million euros (£22 million) two years after the takeover closes.
The deal is expected to be sealed by the first quarter of 2018.
It comes amid speculation that Mr Boparan is also lining up a tie-up between Fox’s Biscuits and Wagon Wheels-owner Burton’s Foods.
Nomad Foods chief executive Stefan Descheemaeker said: “The acquisition of Goodfella’s Pizza comes at an exciting time for our company.
“2017 was a banner year as investments in our core portfolio translated into strong organic revenue growth.
“We exited the year on a high note, with our updated guidance reflecting better-than-expected top and bottom-line performance during the fourth quarter.
“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, know as the so-called “chicken king” for his hefty involvement in the poultry trade through his ownership of the 2 Sisters’ Food Group, has struck a string of deals over the past two years.
In 2016, he snapped up turkey meat producer Bernard Matthews from private equity group Rutland Partners in a pre-pack administration.
In a similar vein his restaurant arm, which houses Harry Ramsden’s fish and chip shop, bought Ed’s Easy Diner and Giraffe.
On the Goodfella’s deal, Nomad Foods co-chairman Noam Gottesman said: “Over the past two years, Stefan and the team have successfully integrated two of Europe’s largest frozen food businesses while strengthening the core product offering.
“With strong organic revenue growth momentum, the time is right to expand into new strategic categories such as pizza, which offer adjacent avenues for further growth and synergies.”