Cold meat specialist Jean Caby is poised to be sold to the Societe Bretonne de Salaisons (SBS), the 100%-owned French affiliate of US group Smithfield, a move that is expected to create the biggest group in the sector in France.

The takeover is likely to be made public next week and take effect by July
this year.

Based near Lille, in northern France, Jean Caby posted a current income of €2.8m (US$3.4m) in 2003 from a turnover of €128.6m. France’s leading producer of cocktail sausages, the company is currently launching a range of low fat/salt products. Its production output last year was 27,400 tonnes.

The new group formed from the takeover would have an annual production output of 95,000 tonnes and a consolidated turnover of between €350m to €400m.