Hilton Foods has agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of HFR Food Solutions, a sous vide products manufacturer based in Wednesbury, West Midlands, UK.

The deal is expected to be completed by 28 February and will enable Hilton to foray into the sous vide market, as well as leverage its expertise in the procurement and manufacturing of meat products for major retailers and foodservice customers.

Additionally, the acquisition of HFR Food Solutions is expected to diversify the proteins supplied by Hilton in the UK, as pork and poultry form a significant proportion of HFR’s production.

Hilton Food Group CEO Philip Heffer is a director and shareholder of HFR Food Solutions. He owns 30% of the company.

HRF Food solutions directors Graham and Robert Heffer each own 30% of the firm. They are also directors of Hilton Food Solutions.

A total of £100 will be paid upon completion of the deal, with the remainder payable within three years.

“This acquisition represents an exciting opportunity for Hilton to broaden its offering in a fastgrowing segment of the market and meet our customers’ demands.”

Hilton noted that the deferred consideration will be calculated by deducting the net debt of HFR from its enterprise value as of 28 February 2022.

The deferred consideration is estimated to be around £3.3m. However, the final amount will be based on HFR’s performance.

A secured loan of £2.75m will be offered by Hilton to HFR upon completion to finance the company.

Hilton executive chairman Robert Watson said: “This acquisition represents an exciting opportunity for Hilton to broaden its offering in a fastgrowing segment of the market and meet our customers’ demands for Hilton to supply them with a range of innovative, high-quality sous vide products.”

HFR director Graham Heffer added: “We are pleased with Hilton’s acquisition of HFR as it will enable the business to benefit from Hilton’s expertise, improve its operations and continue to focus on giving our customers the right products at competitive prices.”

Hilton Food Group supplies food products to major retailers such as Tesco, Ahold, Coop Danmark, ICA and Sonae in Europe and Woolworths in Australia.

It posted sales of £1.4 billion in the 52 weeks to 31 December 2017, and £864m in the 28 weeks to 15 July 2018. The company employs around 4,300 people worldwide.

HFR has operated the Wednesbury site in collaboration with another food manufacturer since 2014.

In the year to 30 September 2018, HFR reported a turnover of £24m from manufacturing sous vide products for major retail, wholesale and foodservice customers in the UK.

Meanwhile, Hilton completed the acquisition of a 50% stake in Dutch vegetarian food manufacturer Dalco Food. This deal was announced in October 2018.