Spare ribs, sold through Ribworld, part of M&M Walshe range

Spare ribs, sold through Ribworld, part of M&M Walshe range

Eight Fifty Food Group, the UK-based meat and seafood business created last year through the combination of Karro Food Group and Young's Seafood, has snapped up Irish meat-products company M&M Walshe Holdings.

The deal, struck for an undisclosed sum, will see Eight Fifty Food Group, already a supplier of pork products through Karro, add sous-vide items to its portfolio.

M&M Walshe, trading as RibWorld, Callan Bacon and Stirchley Bacon, supplies gammon, bacon and sous-vide meat products. It has two sites in Ireland and a third in Redditch in the English Midlands.

The company was set up in 1981 by Michael and Maureen Walshe. Their two eldest children, Geraldine and John, joined the group in the late eighties, with Geraldine - now Geraldine Clohessy - running M&M Walshe Ltd and John running Callan Bacon.

Di Walker, group chief executive of Eight Fifty Food Group, said: "Eight Fifty have been working with the Walshe and Clohessy families for over 30 years and have seen their business grow significantly to become one of Europe's largest sous-vide specialists today."

Walker was formerly chief executive of Karro but took the helm at the combined business when the pork group's private-equity owner CapVest Partners bought Young's Seafood last year.

The transaction is subject to the approval of the Irish Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. After the deal is closed, will give Eight Fifty Food Group, through Karro, its first physical foothold in the Republic of Ireland. Karro has an operating site in Cookstown in Northern Ireland.

The acquisition will mean Eight Fifty has sales of around GBP1.4bn (US$1.73bn) and employ more than 7,500 people across 19 sites in the UK and Ireland. The Walshe family, who have run M&M Walshe since its foundation in 1981, will remain involved with the business.