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Premier Foods sells Sarson's and Haywards to Mizkan

It's in the chips and out of vinegar for the UK food manufacturer, which pockets £41m.

The UK-based Premier Foods has signed an agreement to sell its vinegar and sour pickles businesses – including Sarson’s, Haywards and Dufrais – to the Japanese vinegar manufacturer Mizkan for £41m.

Michael Clarke, CEO of Premier Foods, said:

This agreement represents another important step in our strategy to focus on our power brands.  I'm delighted that we have found a buyer such as Mizkan. Our vinegars and sour pickles business and employees will greatly benefit from being part of a global player focused on vinegar and liquid condiments.

Kazuhide Matazaemon Nakano VIII, CEO of Mizkan, said:

We are excited to acquire two strong and iconic brands that have such a deep heritage in the UK. Sarson’s and Haywards are beloved by consumers and we look forward to investing in the brands and adding to their legacy. They fit well with our global portfolio, are an excellent strategic fit and provide a solid foundation for growth in the UK.

The sale, which is on a cash and debt-free basis, includes the production, distribution, sales and marketing of Sarson’s, Haywards and Dufrais.

The companies have also signed a co-packing agreement, under which Premier Foods will continue to manufacture Haywards pickled beetroot and piccalilli for Mizkan at its Bury St Edmunds site for a period of up to 12 months. All employees at this site will transfer to Mizkan following an appropriate consultation process.

The sale is expected to close by the end of July.