The company said the purchase has given Abel & Co the “security and stability” it needs to grow

The company said the purchase has given Abel & Co the “security and stability” it needs to grow

William Jackson Food Group, the company behind Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire puddings, has acquired UK online organic firm Abel & Cole.

In a statement today (11 October), Abel & Cole said the purchase has given it the "security and stability" it needs to grow.

Earlier this year, Abel & Cole was reported to be preparing a fresh attempt to sell the business following a stalled sale process last year. The price for the group at the time was suggested to be in the region of GBP30m (US$47.58m).

"This is great news for us. We're excited about the future," said Abel & Cole chairman Keith Abel. "By joining a family business, which respects and understands us, we can carry on delivering the best veg boxes imaginable to our wonderful customers."

A spokesperson for Abel & Cole declined to disclose financial details of the deal, and said there would be no redundancies as a result of the sale.

"It’s very much business as usual and our intention is to help the business develop its plans for the future."

Norman Soutar, chief executive of the William Jackson Food Group, said it was "delighted" to be welcoming Abel & Cole to its family.

"Abel & Cole has some exciting plans for the future and now they are part of the William Jackson Food Group we can provide support to help them realise their ambitions," Soutar said.

Abel & Cole was acquired by Phoenix Equity Partners in October 2007, before undergoing a debt-for-equity swap in 2010. The business is now controlled by Lloyds Banking Group and Mr Abel.