Tuesday, June 07, 2005

In a Pickle? Premier buys Quorn for £172 Million

From small fungal beginings vegetarian trial blazer Quorn has now joined the ranks of the UK major brands such as Typhoo Tea and Branston Pickle after being purchaed from Marlow foods by Premier Foods for £172 million. Last year Quorn signed a deal with McDonalds making history as the big mac became big veg.

The vegetarian market is said to be now worth £630 million and one of the fatest growing categories of The UK food industry.

Premier Foods acquires Quorn brand owner: "172m deal for Marlow Foods

Premier Foods, owner of brands including Typhoo Tea, Branston and Crosse & Blackwell has agreed to acquire Marlow Foods owner of meat alternative Quorn in a 172m cash deal.
In the year to December 2004, Quorn sales were 79m, with the brand seeing an average annual sales growth rate of more than 7 per cent over the past five years. Marlow offers Quorn branded products including burgers, sausages, escalopes, cottage pies and lasagne.

Robert Schofield, chief executive of Premier Foods, said: 'This is a fantastic acquisition for Premier Foods. Quorn's strong brand recognition and leading category positions immediately provide Premier with a very strong branded position in an exciting growth market. Quorn is ideally placed to benefit from the increasing demand for healthy eating and the combination with Premier should accelerate its growth.

'Quorn fulfils all our acquisition criteria. It enhances our branded mix, it is UK focussed and meets all our financial hurdles. As well as being by far the largest brand in its category, it will be the largest brand in our portfolio.' "

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