UK meats and seafood processor Browns Food Group has snapped up local beef producer AK Stoddart.

Browns has invested a “multi-million” sum into the group, a statement read.

The move is expected to turn Browns into “Scotland’s largest, privately-owned, meat business”.

The company’s cash injection will be used to “accelerate processing capacity and export capabilities”, helping it to deliver a “£300m ($380.3m) turnover”, with the potential for this to increase to £500m, with the help of “a committed investment programme”.

Stoddart’s was sold to a group of private investors back in 2015. Two of its shareholders at the time were company board members: non-executive director chairman Ton Christiaanse and managing director Grant Moir.

Moir still owns equity in the business following Browns’ latest purchase, according to the latest statement. AK Stoddart’s finance director, Julie Fancourt, is also a remaining shareholder.

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Previous owners also included Colin Wright, former chairman of sausages manufacturer JJ Tranfield Group, and Jeremy Carr from investment firm Energize Capital.

Speaking on the latest transaction, Fancourt said: “It was important for us to find a buyer who shared our values and vision whilst being committed to supporting the Scottish farming and agricultural community.”

Moir added: “The key message here is nothing changes. We have known the Browns team for many years and feel confident that this is the right decision for our business providing greater stability and growth opportunities.”

Just Food has asked Browns to confirm when the transaction is due to close.

The Dumfriesshire-headquartered group produces a range of cooked meats, salmon and poultry products for retail and foodservice customers across Europe. It manages seven manufacturing sites across the UK, according to its website.

Browns’ brands include Ocean Catch seafood, Hall’s chilled and frozen meats and Wee Willie Winkie skinless sausages among others.

Based in Ayrshire and West Lothian, AK Stoddart supplies bone-in and boxed Aberdeen angus beef to a global customer base. It also produces minced and diced beef under the AK Stoddart brand and private label.