Hilton Foods acquires Fairfax Meadow Europe

Hilton Food Group, the international multi-protein food business, today announces its subsidiary, Hilton Foods Ltd has acquired Fairfax Meadow Europe Ltd, the leading meat supplier to the UK foodservice sector from Argent Holdings Ltd.

Fairfax Meadow was established over 40 years ago and supplies some of the largest businesses in the UK hospitality and travel sectors. The business operates from four meat processing and packing facilities in Derby, Milton Keynes, North London and Southampton.

The business is now recovering strongly following the impact of Covid-19, as the UK hospitality and travel sectors fully reopen.

The acquisition of Fairfax Meadow will improve access for Hilton to the out-of-home channel, harnessing existing partnerships and contributing to further sustainable growth for the business. This development into the foodservice sector will ensure that Hilton is the protein partner of choice for customers across more mealtimes and meal occasions.

Hilton has paid cash consideration of £23.8 million , taking into account adjustments for net debt and normalised working capital. The acquisition has been funded from the Group's debt facilities.

The business that Hilton has acquired generated an EBITDA loss of £2.3m in the year ended 31 December 2020, after adjusting for exceptional items and reflecting the significant impact of Covid, and an EBITDA profit of £4.4m in the year ended 3t December 2019.

The combined value of the business's gross assets was £20.1m at 3t December 2020 based on audited statutory accounts prepared under UK GAAP.

Hilton's CEO, Philip Heffer, commented, 'I am very pleased to announce the acquisition of Fairfax Meadow, the leading meat supplier to the UK foodservice sector. This transaction is all about growth. With its award-winning reputation, Fairfax Meadow represents a great opportunity for Hilton to expand into an adjacent and growing foodservice sector in the UK.

'It is another step towards our goal of becoming the protein partner of choice for every meal occasion - offering high quality, affordable, and rigorously sourced proteins for customers and consumers here in the UK and across the world.

'We look forward to leveraging Hilton's expertise, reputation and investment to grow and expand the Fairfax business, and we plan to offer Hilton's broad product range, including sous vide, seafood and alternative protein products, to Fairfax's customers.'

Fairfax Meadow Managing Director, Penny Tomlinson, added, 'I'm delighted that Fairfax Meadow will be joining Hilton Food Group. Fairfax Meadow is built on a foundation of longstanding, strong, customer and supplier relationships which we will continue to develop as we move forward together.

'Philip and the team at Hilton have followed our progress closely over the past few years and by joining forces now, we will have the right platform and investment for the next phase of Fairfax Meadow's growth.

'With Hilton's retail supply chain expertise, quality management and leading sustainability standards, together with our longstanding reputation for butchery and foodservice excellence, this is a fantastic opportunity.

'I am excited for the next stage of our development as I continue to lead Fairfax Meadow within the Hilton family and to seeing the positive impact for our teams, our customers and our suppliers. I want to thank Argent Food Group for their support in making Fairfax Meadow the UK's favourite foodservice catering butcher.'