Kettle Foods-owner Valeo has appetite for £1.5bn sale

·1-min read

The owner of grocery brands including Kettle crisps and Rowse honey is to launch an auction that could fetch more than £1.5bn and cement its status as one of Europe's biggest privately owned food producers.

Sky News has learnt that Valeo Foods' owner, CapVest, has appointed Goldman Sachs to oversee a sale of the company in the coming months.

The deal is likely to be among the largest transactions in the food industry in 2021.

Valeo was formed just over a decade ago when CapVest acquired two Irish ambient food businesses: Batchelors and Origin Foods.

Since then, it has made more than a dozen acquisitions, including the Fox's and Barratt confectionery labels and Matthew Walker, Britain's biggest supplier of Christmas puddings.

Most recently, Valeo bought It's All Good, a manufacturer of tortillas for leading supermarkets.

The buy-and-build strategy has created a business with over €1bn in sales, and which is now one of Europe's most valuable food companies.

Valeo has seen strong sales since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which is said to be a factor in the timing of CapVest's decision to launch a sale process.

The Dublin-based company is run by Seamus Kearney, a former Aer Lingus executive.

A CapVest spokesman declined to comment.