Lamb processing among Frews operations

Lamb processing among Frew's operations

Thomas Foods International, the Australia-based meat group, has snapped up a stake in Frew, a lamb- and goat-processing peer in its domestic market.

TFI has acquired a 50% shareholding in Frew, a business based in Victoria that has a plant with a daily capacity to process more than 6,000 lambs, sheep and goats.

Financial terms were not disclosed. In a statement, TFI said both companies would "continue to operate independently". Robert Frew, the son of the company's founder, will stay on as managing director of the renamed Frew International. Darren Thomas', TFI's chief executive, is to join the Frew International board as executive chairman "to help guide global growth and future strategy".

"Both companies have had a mutual respect for each other over many years. We are both family owned and family grown which means a lot in our industry, particularly to our customers and livestock suppliers," Mr Thomas said. "For us, it was important to partner with a company that has a similar focus on quality and running a business based on strong family values. This investment is not only aimed at helping facilitate Frew's exciting growth prospects but also enhancing TFI's offering across the meat industry including some of Frew's existing key markets that TFI has not served in recent years."

TFI says it "exports across the globe" and has subsidiary companies located in Asia, Europe and the United States.

Mr Frew said Frew International products had been exported through TFI's export unit Holco.

"Our well-established and focused national retail domestic customer relationships and export markets, in particular the Middle East, will benefit substantially through combining our increased procurement, supply chain, access to markets and processing volumes. Our two companies had already established a great working partnership, with Holco purchasing products from our company over many years. Today's announcement strengthens our companies' high quality 'farmgate to plate' offering for consumers right across the globe," he explained.