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Eight Fifty Food Group, the UK-based meat and seafood manufacturer, has snapped up Irish deli-meats and ready-meals supplier Carroll’s Cuisine from investment fund Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI).

The deal, announced on Christmas Eve, is the second Eight Fifty Food Group – itself owned by private-equity firm CapVest – made in Ireland in 2020, following its purchase of Irish meat-products company M&M Walshe Holdings last summer.

Carroll’s Cuisine, based in Tullamore, employs around 300 people, supplying a range of sliced, cooked-meat products. 

Eight Fifty Food Group said the foods were ” highly complementary” to M&M Walshe’s gammon, bacon and sous-vide meat lines.

CCI, founded by US private-equity firm The Carlyle Group and Dublin finance house Cardinal, backed a management buyout of Carroll’s Cuisine in 2015.

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A majority of the shares in Carroll’s Cuisine were owned by CCI, with management also investors. Speculation emerged in January last year M&A advisors had been appointed to work on a possible sale of the business.

Di Walker, Eight Fifty Food Group’s CEO, said: “Eight Fifty are guardians of strong brands across multiple proteins and so we are delighted to add the Carroll’s business to our growing group. Like our Young’s brand in seafood, the Carroll’s name is synonymous with quality, value-added protein products. Carroll’s will be a great addition to our business.”

John Comerford, the managing director at Carroll’s Cuisine, added: “The interest in Carroll’s is testament to the work that CCI and the entire Carroll’s management team have completed over the last five years. Through continuous investment and innovation, we have delivered the highest quality produce to our customer base. We’re excited to work with Eight Fifty and deliver their ambitious future growth plans.”

The deal for Carroll’s Cuisine was the third involving CapVest or one of its assets to be announced in December.

On 17 December, CapVest announced the acquisition of UK pet-food business Inspired Pet Nutrition.

Five days later, Ireland-based food manufacturer Valeo Foods, owned by CapVest, unveiled the purchase of UK snack maker It’s All Good.

Jason Rodrigues a partner at CapVest, described Carroll’s Cuisine as “another great European addition to our growing portfolio” and said the deal “creates the premier integrated platform of value-added pork products in Ireland”.