The deal, which will require regulatory approval before reaching conclusion, is set to form one of Ireland’s biggest ambient consumer food groups, with an annual turnover of around €300 million and a workforce of nearly 500.
Valeo, controlled by London-based private equity house, CapVest, said the deal is consistent with its strategy of growth and makes commercial sense.
CapVest and Origin Enterprises will remain as main shareholders within the enlarged Valeo group, but will be joined by a number of Jacob Fruitfield shareholders reinvesting in the new entity. Mr Fitzpatrick will continue in his current role, but Seamus Kearney — current managing director of Jacob Fruitfield — will become chief executive of Valeo. Jacob chairman Michael Carey will join the enlarged group board.
Valeo’s product portfolio of leading brands such as Odlums, Shamrock, Erin, Squeez, Roma, Lustre, Picnic and Batchelors will be bolstered by the likes of Fruitfield jams, Jacob biscuits and Chef sauces.