US food company Hain Celestial has acquired Irish chilled soup manufacturer Cully & Sully as the company continues to expand its international business.

Cully & Sully supplies Irish food retailers with natural chilled soups, savoury pies and hot pots under the namesake brand, with a range of approximately 20 products.

The deal, announced yesterday (3 May), is expected to be neutral to Hain Celestial's earnings in fiscal year 2012 and to be accretive to earnings in fiscal year 2013. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

"We see a tremendous opportunity for chilled soups as consumers move away from canned soups and into fresh chilled soups," said Irwin Simon, founder, president and CEO of Hain Celestial.

"We hope to utilise Cully and Sully's knowledge and expertise for Hain Daniels and here in the US as we move chilled fresh soups to the North American marketplace."

The acquisition comes seven months after Hain Celestial acquired UK-based Daniels Group, which sells brands including New Covent Garden soup.

Cully & Sully founders Cullen Allen and Colum O'Sullivan will continue to manage all aspects of the company, reporting to Rob Burnett, CEO of Hain Daniels Group, a division set up after the Daniels acquisition in the UK.

"Joining the Hain Daniels Group will provide us with the opportunity to broaden our product offerings into other categories and to expand the Cully & Sully brand into the UK," O'Sullivan said.