The consolidation of Ireland's consumer food sector has long been a priority for Origin Enterprises, the food and agribusiness group that today (10 September) spun off its branded business and announced plans to buy a local rival.

Earlier today (10 September), Origin Enterprises announced plans to hive off its consumer business into a new entity Valeo Foods Group.

Origin will keep a minority stake in Valeo, which will have private-equity firm CapVest as its majority shareholder.

Valeo, which will own Origin food brands like Odlums and Shamrock, has also agreed a deal to buy Irish food business Batchleors, a maker of brands including Batchelors baked beans and Erin cooking sauces.

Origin wants to focus on its agri-services operations and a spokesperson for the business told just-food consolidation in the branded sector had been a "priority" for the company for "some time".

The spokesperson said Valeo would have a stable of brands that are "well positioned" to meet consumer demand.

"While the trading environment is challenging and competitive, both Origin Foods and Batchelors have demonstrated resilience, maintaining their market leadership across many categories. Valeo is now comprised of a portfolio of brands which are well positioned in areas where consumer spending is increasingly focused on staple food purchases," the spokesperson said.

CapVest said it was looking to grow Valeo's presence in Ireland's food sector.

"The opportunity to create Valeo Foods and bring together a portfolio of some of Ireland's most iconic and instantly recognisable consumer brands is the realisation of the first stage in a clear strategy to grow Valeo's footprint in the food sector," said CapVest co-founder Seamus FitzPatrick. "We have always liked the food sector as we believe it is fundamentally non discretionary in terms of demand, while simultaneously offering real potential for consolidation and growth."

Batchelors did not return a request for comment.