Premier Foods (St. Albans, U.K.) has reached a conditional agreement to sell its sweet spreads and jellies business to Hain Daniels Group for £200 million in cash and shares, subject to approval. For the year ended 31 December 2011, sales of the business being sold were £165 million, of which 59% were of branded goods. Brands include Hartley’s, one of Britain’s most popular jams; a portfolio of marmalades (Robertson’s, Frank Cooper, Keiller); Sun-Pat, a leading brand of peanut butter in the U.K.; and Gales, the second largest honey brand. Irwin Simon, Hain’s founder and president and CEO of Hain Celestial Group, noted that that in order to become the largest healthy food company in the United Kingdom, the company “needed to expand into Ambient Grocery where we have seen health and nutrition gain traction with consumers.” Rob Burnett, CEO of Hain Daniels, said in a Q4 earnings call: “The acquisition of market leading grocery brands from Premier really establishes the Hain Daniels business in the U.K. as a scale player across all sectors fresh, chilled, frozen and now ambient grocery.” He added: “We believe we can modernize the portfolio and make it more relevant today with a relatively uncomplicated new product development.” Hain Celestial Group’s net sales reached a record $1.378 billion for fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, up 24.3%. Almost a year ago Hain Celestial Group acquired Daniels Group in the United Kingdom, a maker of chilled natural foods and beverages, for approximately $230 million.
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