By Geoff Percival
The frozen pizza arm of Green Isle Foods has been bought for £200m (€246m) in a cash deal by the European owner of the popular Birds Eye brand.
Naas, Co Kildare-headquartered Green Isle’s UK owner, food manufacturer 2 Sisters Food Group, has agreed to sell the business comprising the Goodfella’s and San Marco brands as well as a number of private label pizza contracts in Ireland and Britain to Nomad Foods, the largest frozen food manufacturer in the UK.
Nomad also owns the European rights to the Birds Eye and Findus brands.
2 Sisters will retain ownership of the remaining frozen product lines of Green Isle; including the Green Isle brand itself and Donegal Catch. The group said the net proceeds from the sale will be used to repay debt and to invest in its core businesses.
It said a sale of the frozen pizza business had been on the cards for some time.
“We have had approaches over the past couple of years for these businesses, and we have been talking to several interested parties during this period,” said 2 Sisters chief executive Ranjit Singh.
“But a sale had to be at the right time, with the right buyer, and it had to be a deal that fitted with our long-term strategy. This deal represents our first major step to transform 2 Sisters and build a better business. Nomad Foods is a fabulous new home and this deal will enable the business to continue to flourish with a new owner who are experts in the frozen category,” Mr Singh said.
Completion of the deal is subject to customary closing conditions, but is expected early this year.