Quorn attracted interest from companies including McCain Foods and South Koreas Pulmuone

Quorn attracted interest from companies including McCain Foods and South Korea's Pulmuone

Quorn Foods, the UK-based meat-free business, is to be sold to Philippines group Monde Nissin in a deal valuing the company at GBP550m (US$831.2m).

The deal, announced today (30 September), is expected to be completed by 30 October. It would see Quorn become the latest step in Monde Nissin's strategy to become a more international food business. The group has made three acquisitions in Australia in the last 18 months.

Monde Nissin CEO Henry Soesanto said: "Monde Nissin have been investing in on-trend, better-for-you products internationally in line with our strategy to become a global diversified food company. Quorn represents an important new leg in our offering. We are excited by the growth potential of the global meat alternatives market, which complements our strategy perfectly."

Quorn is present in 15 markets, generating annual sales of just over GBP150m. Chief executive Kevin Brennan said the sale to Monde Nissin would help the business move into Asia. "We have an ambition to be the world leader in meat alternatives, ultimately creating a US$1bn business. Monde Nissin Corporation's purchase represents a great step forwards in this ambition; they share our belief in the potential of Quorn, and provide capability to expand the brand into Asia."

UK-based private-equity firm Exponent Private Equity acquired Quorn from Premier Foods plc in 2011.  Simon Davidson, a partner at Exponent said: "Under Exponent's ownership Quorn has been transformed into a fast-growing global health brand. Our partnership with the superb management team, led by Kevin Brennan, has created one of the UK's fastest growing food brands as well as a rapidly growing international business."

Exponent put Quorn up for sale this month. Food companies including Danone, Kerry Group, McCain Foods, Alpro owner WhiteWave Foods and South Korea's Pulmuone registered varying levels of interest in the business, just-food understands. Quorn also attracted interest from other private-equity firms. First-round bids for the business were due on 12 October.