MARKHAM, ONTARIO – Sofina Foods Inc., a privately owned Canadian company that manufactures primary and further processed protein products, announced on March 29 it would acquire pork and seafood company Eight Fifty Food Group from a private equity firm.
In 2017, CapVest Parnters acquired Karro Food Group a United Kingdom pork processor. The group then acquired Young’s Seafood in 2019 to create Eight Fifty Food Group. CapVest then consolidated five other protein businesses around Europe to create the multi-protein specialist group. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"As a leading Canadian multi-protein specialist, this acquisition allows Sofina Foods to continue on our path of ambitious expansion,” said Michael Latifi, founder and executive chairman of Sofina Foods. “Sofina Foods is one of Canada's largest food producers and we have created a solid global foundation for continued growth. With a history of excellence in food production and processing spanning over 25 years, the strong brands of Eight Fifty Food Group align perfectly with our prominent brands and our shared future vision."
Eight Fifty will remain under the leadership of Di Walker, current chief executive officer, after the acquisition.
“This transaction and the interest in Eight Fifty is a great reflection on the quality of the business and testament to the work that CapVest and our entire management team have completed,” Walker said. “We're very excited to join Sofina Foods to deliver on their ambitious future growth plans."
The new company will have more than 13,000 employees around the world and 44 facilities. The company said it plans to have annual revenue of C$6 billion. Currently Sofina Foods operates 21 different sites with about 5,000 employees.
"Our team in Canada and our new partners at Eight Fifty Food Group have set the stage for considerable growth,” said Bob Wilt, president and CEO of Sofina Foods. “I look forward to working with Di and to welcoming Eight Fifty to the Sofina family, and to drawing upon the significant expertise that exists across both businesses."
Jason Rodrigues, Partner at CapVest, said: "We've created a leading European multi-protein business through a combination of strategic investment in our core asset base and complementary acquisitions of fantastic national champions. Eight Fifty delivers best-in-class products to our customers and consumers and we are all very proud of what Di Walker and her team have achieved over the last four years. We're confident that Eight Fifty will continue to flourish under Sofina Food's ownership."
Walker added, "We began this journey as a UK-only pork supplier doing less than £500 million in sales and after several years of transformational organic and acquisitive progress are now the European multi-protein specialist with over £2 billion in sales. This transaction and the interest in Eight Fifty is a great reflection on the quality of the business and testament to the work that CapVest and our entire management team have completed. We're very excited to join Sofina Foods to deliver on their ambitious future growth plans."