Pallas Foods makes acquisition of Crossgar on behalf of US owners

Pallas Foods in Limerick has acquired Crossgar Foodservice, which recently won contracts with the Prison Service, the Defence Forces, and the Health Service Executive.

A family business launched in Co Down in 1959 by Gerald and Mary Bell, Crossgar’s products include poultry, meat, chilled and frozen foods, grocery and non-food items widely available in Ireland and Britain.

Pallas made this strategic acquisition on behalf of its US owners Sysco, who have seen the Limerick company grow by around 12% since its €175m acquisition in 2009. No fee has been disclosed for the Crossgar takeover.

Developed by the Geary family, Pallas currently employs around 550 people in Limerick, while its US owners have global sales worth more than €30bn annually. Crossgar employs almost 240 people, and has a family-run structure similar to that of Pallas.

Meanwhile, Irish and British food group Greencore (formerly Irish Sugar) is to sell its Minsterley chilled desserts production facility in Shropshire to Muller UK in a €5.3m deal. The facility produces Cadbury chilled desserts, including Cadbury mousse, trifle, and twin-pot products, which Muller now sells under an extended licence from Cadbury.

Pending approval, the facility will transfer to Muller in January 2013, at which time Greencore and Muller’s eight-year dessert co-packing arrangement will be terminated.

Meanwhile, the US-based ingredients firm Glanbia Nutritionals — a member of the Kilkenny-based Glanbia group — has introduced a new flax-based gum replacer to its hydrocolloid (food processing thickener) range, an innovation that is expected to save manufacturers 40% on their production costs.

The new OptiSol 5300 product has received an instant positive response from US food producers, where it is expected to be widely used in bakery applications such as flat breads, gluten-free bakery goods, bakery mixes, breading and batters.

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