Greencore, the European private-label food group has today (30 April) announced its entry into the US chilled foods market with the acquisition of Home Made Brand Foods (HMBF).

The acquisition of the US company, comes after what the company describes as a “detailed business development effort in the US chilled food market”.

“We have spent the last two years on the ground ploughing through the market,” Eoin Tonge, Greencore group capital markets director told just-food. “What attracted us to the company is the management team who were excited by our vision, and also its strong established customer base and its profit which is critical.”

Based in Newburyport, Massachusetts, HMBF is a regional leader in the manufacture and supply of fresh food products, including freshly prepared meals and salads, sandwiches and quiche to a customer base that includes leading regional retailers such as Stop & SHOP , Hannaford and Publix.

In 2008, HMBF expects to generate in excess of US$40m in revenues with the potential to increase this to $100m within its existing facility. 

The initial consideration payable by the group is $44m.  Further consideration will be payable up to a maximum of $10m, dependent on HMBF’s performance in the financial year to 31 December.

Several Greencore personnel will relocate to the US to develop the group’s US business, including Fergal Leamy, currently development director of the convenience foods division. He has been appointed CEO of Greencore USA.

Tonge said the company is now “hitting the ground running” and may look to further expand its US ventures in the near future.

“If we look out five to ten years, we would like to build a large scale business in the US, not just with HMBF alone,” said Tonge. “We will be building on what we have and our focus on the North East gives us a platform to grow further and we hope in time it will, whether it be with Greencore or another company.”