Singapore-based agribusiness group Olam International is to acquire two UK food-ingredients firms for a combined GBP33.5m (US$54.1m).

Olam said yesterday (31 January) that it had signed agreements to buy an 85% stake in privately-owned Britannia Food Ingredients, or BFI, and the entire capital of Britannia Storage and Distribution.

BFI, based in the Yorkshire town of Goole, supplies fats to confectioners and snack makers. Under the terms of the deal, Olam will buy the remaining 15% of the business within the next three years. The Singapore group said the acquisition would "significantly improve" its position in cocoa ingredients.

Britannia Storage and Distribution, also based in Goole, has a second site in Ipswich and is a logistics firm operating in the confectionery fats sector.

Olam MD and global head for cocoa Gerry Manley said: "This investment represents a further step towards integrating our business as a leading supplier of high quality cocoa ingredients and confectionery fats to the chocolate industry."