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Eight Fifty Food Group acquires M&M Walshe Holdings Limited

A team of specialist food & drink lawyers from Walker Morris has advised Eight Fifty Food Group, the leading multi-protein food group controlled by CapVest Partners LLP, on its acquisition of M&M Walshe Holdings Limited for an undisclosed consideration.

Eight Fifty is a leading supplier of both branded and own-label seafood and pork owning both the Young’s Seafood and Karro brands.

M&M Walshe, trading as RibWorld, Callan Bacon and Stirchley Bacon, is a processor and multi-channel supplier of gammon, bacon and sous-vide meat products. The business employs approximately 550 people across its three sites located in Tipperary and Kilkenny in the Republic of Ireland and Redditch in the United Kingdom.

The business will be integrated into Eight Fifty’s pork division, with M&M Walshe’s sous-vide products complementing Eight Fifty’s existing customer offering. Post-transaction, Eight Fifty will have sales of circa £1.4 billion and employ more than 7,500 people across 19 sites in the UK and Ireland. The Walshe family, who have operated M&M Walshe since its foundation in 1981, will remain involved with the business post-transaction.

Richard Naish, Head of the Food & Drink Group at Walker Morris led the team with support from Simon Cuerden and Marianne McKeown (corporate) and a host of specialists drawn from across the firm including employment, regulatory, real estate, tax, commercial, banking/finance and IP.

Richard Naish commented:

“We’ve worked with Eight Fifty for a number of years and have built up a solid working relationship and understanding of their business. This latest transaction is excellent news for the companies, stakeholders and employees involved and demonstrates that deals are still being done despite the current Covid-19 pandemic.”

Di Walker, CEO of Eight Fifty Food Group, commented:

“Eight Fifty have been working with the Walshe and Clohessy families for over 30 years and have seen their business grow significantly to become one of Europe’s largest sous-vide specialists today. We’re delighted to welcome M&M Walshe into the Eight Fifty Food Group and look forward to continue growing with them”.

The transaction is subject to standard closing conditions and approval from the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.