Japanese firm buys Branston pickle in £92.5m deal

30 October 2012 by
Japanese firm buys Branston pickle in £92.5m deal

Premier Foods has announced the sale of the Branston pickle business to Japanese vinegar manufacturer Mizkan, who also recently acquired Premier's vinegar brand, Sarsons and pickle business, Haywards.

The proposed sale by Premier Foods which also owns Hovis, Mr Kipling and Bisto, includes all Branston brands such as ketchup, relish, salad cream and mayonnaise.

The production of Branston pickle will stay in the UK and no jobs will be lost in the takeover. The 350 people who work on producing the pickle brand at Premier's Bury St Edmunds factory in Suffolk will now be transferred to Mizkan's operations at Burntwood in Staffordshire as part of the deal due to complete early in 2013.

Richard Johnson, director of corporate affairs at Premier Foods said: "Mizkan is a company that wants to invest in the UK that will keep production in the UK and therefore jobs in the UK.

"It is a Japanese headquartered company but they are building up their presence in the UK and intend to stay in the UK. They hope to create a base here as a springboard to the rest of Europe.

"We are now concentrating on our eight core brands and disposing of our non-core brands."

The disposal means Premier will have raised £370m from the sale of a number of non-core brands, including Robertson's marmalade and Gale's honey. Consequently, the company is now well ahead of its £330m target to reach by June 2014 as part of its new financial arrangements.

By Lisa Jenkins

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