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Bakkavor extends Welcome to UK ingredients firm

By staff reporter , 08-Oct-2007

Icelandic food group Bakkavor has acquired UK flavourings firm Welcome Food Ingredients for an unspecified sum - an unusual move for a company that describes itself as a leading fresh prepared foods and produce provider.

The group, which is made up of 40 business units in eight countries, divides its fresh, prepared product activities two categories: hot eating and cold eating. It does not flag activities in the field of ingredients supply or flavourings, and as such the acquisition of Nottingham-based Welcome, for an unspecified sum, looks to be interesting manoeuvre in the market. A spokesperson for Bakkavor was not available prior to publication to comment on the strategy behind the acquisition, but CEO Agust Gudmundsson said in a statement: "The acquisition of Welcome Food Ingredients brings to the group an added value business with good prospects for continued growth through existing and new customers in the UK." Bakkavor group stressed Welcome's role as a "UK flavourings and sauce producer", which uses fresh and dried ingredients to make flavourings and blends (like sauces, pastes and dressings) for use by the food industry. On its website Welcome lists three areas of business activity, one of which is flavour systems for crisps, snacks, nut products and hot and cold snacks. Its two other division are food processing (poultry, meat, fish, vegetables, ready meals and pizza), and food service. In full year 2006 Bakkavor reported sales of £1.2bn, and operating profit of £113.9m.

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