US meat processor Smithfield Foods has announced the agreement to purchase French branded meat products company Jean Caby and related companies for approximately €27.4m ($33.3m) plus the assumption of certain liabilities.

Smithfield said Jean Caby will be merged with Smithfield’s French unit, SBS, creating a first tier processed meat company in France with sales of approximately €380m. The combined company will operate under the Jean Caby name.

Jean Caby produces and markets cured and cooked processed meats including deli cooked hams, dry sausages, cocktail sausages and hot dogs. In 2003, sales under the Jean Caby brand grew 16% and overall company sales grew 5% to reach approximately €130m.

Robert Sharpe II, Smithfield’s president of international operations said the acquisition provides the company with a strong brand and an expanded product range.

“We expect to realise this potential in continued strong growth of sales both under the Jean Caby brand as well as under the brand of our customers,” he added.

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close before the end of July.