The Hain Celestial Group has acquired the Linda McCartney brand (under license) frozen meat-free business from the HJ Heinz Company, including the manufacturing facility based in Fakenham, England.

"We now have the premier meat-free brand which will further support our expansion of natural and organic products. Acquiring the Linda McCartney range of vegetarian products reinforces our commitment to growing in this marketplace," said Irwin Simon, president and chief executive officer of the Hain Celestial Group. "We are excited to have the opportunity to work with The McCartney Family in expanding the Linda McCartney frozen meat-free business in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe as well as throughout North America."

In a statement released by the McCartney Family, they commented: "We are delighted to be joining together with Hain Celestial, a leading light in organic, natural products, to produce an even better range of foods than we have ever made before. We believe that the visions of both our companies fit perfectly with our desire to encourage more and more people to eat pure, vegetarian food. It was this desire that motivated Linda when she started Linda McCartney Foods originally and we hope to continue her good work and in doing so, her legacy."

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. However, Hain said the transaction is expected to be accretive to the earnings in fiscal year 2007.

In May Hain Celestial announced the acquisition of the Fresh Prepared Foods Business in Luton, England from Heinz.