UK-based food group Associated British Foods has bought Patak’s, the Indian cuisine business, for an undisclosed sum.

ABF, which owns brands including Kingsmill bread, said today (29 May) that it has struck a deal with the Pathak family, the founders of the business.

Patak’s, formed in 1957, produces a range of Indian sauces, curry pastes and chutneys for the retail and food service channels.

Financial details of the transaction were undisclosed although ABF said the gross assets of the Pathak business were worth around GBP40m (US$79.5m). For the year to 30 September 2006, Pathak generated revenue of GBP66m. The business comprises the Patak’s brand and assets in all countries except India.

ABF plans to merge the Patak’s business with its own ethnic food interests in the UK. The company already owns the retail pan-oriental brand Blue Dragon. Its Westmill Foods unit is also the largest supplier to the ethnic wholesale trade in the UK.

ABF chief executive George Weston said: “We are privileged to be able to acquire as fine a business as Patak’s.”

Patak’s chairman Kirit Pathak will take on the role of chairman of the combined business in the UK. He said: “With its experience in the world foods sector and international scale of operations, ABF is the ideal strategic partner for the Patak’s brand.

Pathak added: “This partnership will reinforce the leadership position of the Patak’s brand in Indian food worldwide and significantly enhance the capacity of Patak’s to realise its full global potential as the reference Indian food brand.”