Israeli food maker Osem Investments is to buy UK kosher food distributor Yarden ("Jordan England") in a bid to expand into the UK.

The deal, worth GBP1.9m (US$3.1m), was made through Osem's UK unit and will see Yarden integrated into Osem UK, the company said in a filing to the stock exchange yesterday (2 August).

Osem, in which Nestle owns a 53.8% stake, said it will pay an additional amount for the acquisition of Yarden's inventory.

Yarden's sales in 2008 totalled GBP7m. Its clients include Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.

Osem reported a first-quarter net profit NIS77.1m (US$19.4m) in May, up 9% from NIS70.9m in the corresponding quarter last year.
 
Earnings per share rose from NIS0.64 to NIS0.70 on turnover up 8.6% at NIS847.1m.
 
The company said first-quarter net profit and sales had been boosted by recent acquisitions, as well as deeper penetration of Nestlé products and expansion into the chilled food sector.

Osem's acquisitions in the past year have included; US-based Tribe Mediterranean Foods for $57m, 51% of a unit of Maabarot Products, and Foodtech International.