UK retailer Iceland Foods has agreed the sale of its Cooltrader frozen food banner to Heron Foods for an undisclosed sum.

Iceland has reached an agreement to sell 54 of the stores to family-owned Yorkshire-based Heron and retain the remaining four. The Cooltrader depot and head office are included in the deal.

A spokesperson for Iceland told just-food the sale is a result of a “focus issue” for the group.

“[Cooltrader] is a small profitable but not massively profitable business … so it makes sense to focus on the business that has lots of potential for growth.”

Consultation with employees began on 20 August, but neither of the two firms wanted it publicised at the time, the spokesperson said.

It is proposed that all retail staff in the Cooltrader stores will transfer to Heron, or Iceland, as appropriate.

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“Following our management buyout earlier this year, it is right that we should focus all our efforts on the growth and the development of the Iceland brand, which has huge further potential both in the UK and overseas,” said Iceland Foods chairman and CEO Malcolm Walker.

“We are pleased that the deal we have agreed in principle should assure the future of the staff in all the Cooltrader stores.”

The spokesperson said Iceland aims to complete the sale by the end of September.