Valeo Foods acquires Canadian maple syrup processor Bernard

Valeo Foods acquires Canadian maple syrup processor Bernard

Valeo Foods, best-known for brands such as Kettle crisps and Jacob’s biscuits, has made its first acquisition in North America with the purchase of Canadian maple syrup processor Bernard from private equity firm Phoenix Partners.

The transaction, which will add €95m to Valeo’s more than €1bn in annual sales, is the first the Dublin-headquartered company has made outside Europe and the first since long-term owner CapVest sold it to Bain Capital last May.

Bain said at the time that its plan was to grow Valeo both organically and through acquisitions to consolidate its position as a leading international food business.

The deal for the Quebec-based Bernard, the biggest independent maple syrup maker in the world, brings the Buckwud export brand under Valeo’s umbrella.

It also connects the company, which to date has mainly focused on the UK, Ireland and continental Europe, with more than 40 major food retailers around the world and crucially with distributors in the giant US and Canadian markets.

The Bernard family, which has been running the business since they founded it five generations ago in the 19th century, is staying on to manage the brand, Valeo said in a statement.

Valeo Foods currently owns 82 well-known food brands of which 13 are category leaders. The group operates 27 manufacturing facilities across the UK, Ireland and Europe. It competes in key growth categories like snacking and sweet treats, confectionery, health and wellness, beverages and agency, baking and meal ingredients and food service.