Dutch firms Zwanenberg Food Group and Struik Foods Europe will go ahead and merge after shareholders approved a proposed deal first announced in November.

Zwanenberg manufactures snacks, ready meals, canned meats, soups and sauces, as well as vegetarian products, under brands such as Kips and Huls, and also offers a private-label service.

Family-owned Struik, which is based in Voorthuizen, is present in the same categories, manufacturing products under its namesake brand and the Ye Olde Oak and Sonnen Bassermann lines.

Zwanenberg chairman Aldo van der Laan said: “Together, Zwanenberg and Struik can be more effective than operating by themselves. By joining forces, we are better placed to meet the changing requirements of consumers with product ranges relevant to their needs.”

The merger will create a business with combined annual sales of EUR540m (US$595.7m) and 1,800 employees, according to a statement, which added Zwanenberg is the bigger of the two companies with sales of EUR420m. 

René van Drie, the CEO of Struik, added: “Zwanenberg is an excellent partner for Struik, because it is well versed in the segments on which Struik focuses: soups, sauces, sausages and ready meals.”

The transaction has already been approved by the Autoriteit Consument & Markt, the Netherlands’ competition watchdog.