Blog: Dean BestThe identity of the buyer of Tyson's Kettle business emerges

Dean Best | 10 April 2018

In February, we reported Tyson Foods had sold its Kettle business, one of a series of non-protein disposals at the US meat giant. But the company would not disclose the buyer. This week, the new owner of the asset disclosed the deal.

Kerry Group, the Ireland-based food ingredients and consumer foods supplier, has published its annual report for 2017 and, buried on page 178, is a list of the acquisitions the company struck last year.

Last on the list chronologically is "the Kettle business of Tyson Foods", which Kerry describes as "a US-based business producing artisan-inspired side dishes, appetisers and dips for consumers and foodservice".

It adds: "The Kettle Collections brand is available for purchase by consumers and through leading restaurant chains and food distribution companies globally."

The asset operates from a plant in Fort Worth, Texas and Kerry says the business "has a strong heritage in the North American foodservice industry with well-established key customer alliances in the QSR and fast-casual restaurant sectors".

Mystery solved on that one.

The majority of Kerry's acquisitions last year was in ingredients (so not on our beat) but the annual report reveals another consumer-facing deal.

In November, Kerry snapped up Oakhouse Foods, with the Irish group describing the Wiltshire-based business "as one of the UK’s leading direct-to-consumer, ready-meal providers, delivering meals that are quick and easy to prepare at home for elderly consumers".

This year, Kerry has acquired more ingredient businesses, including two in China.

The ingredients side of Kerry's empire accounts for the majority of its sales and the disclosure of its acquisitions in 2017 got one analyst speculating about where the company could look next.

"We think it would like to buy enzyme manufacturer Danisco from Dow Dupont should it become available," Societe General analyst Arthur Reeves wrote in a note to clients today.

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