C&D buys British pet food company

COUNTY LONGFORD based C&D Foods has purchased Primetime Petfoods in a further move to expand its solid pet food base.

Primetime is based in Yorkshire in the north of England, where it has a strong business base from which it operates to supply a wide range of stores.

It produces a wide range of dry pet foods and mixer products and is seen as a natural fit to the C&D brand.

Over the past 12 months, the total sales for the year ended March 2004 were in the region of £14 million and rising.

C&D, based in Edgeworthstown, employs 400 people and had a turnover of over €58m for the year ending December 2003.

The private company, which is owned by the Reynolds family, is the largest manufacturer of own label wet pet food in Ireland and Britain.

It is estimated that the combined group will have sales of about €80m in the year ahead.

A company spokesman said the combination of the two businesses offers significant potential for the enlarged group that was founded by former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds when pet food was still in the early stages of development in the Irish market.

Together, the new group will become the largest producer of own label pet food products in the two markets.

C&D does not intend to sit on its laurels in the case of the new acquisition.

It has plans to ensure that the business will benefit from the link-up with the Irish operation and to generate as many synergies from the joint operations as is possible.

To make sure that the takeover delivers, the group has decided to invest a substantial figure in the British-based group over the coming period.

This is in line with the group’s own policy in Ireland, where it has continued to invest.

The group said it intended to continue a similar capital expenditure policy with Primetime as it has at its Edgeworthstown base.

There it has already invested €15m in the past four years on increased capacity and product/packaging developments.

AIB Capital Markets were advisers to the Longford Group.

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