Well-known Irish cooked meats producer Carroll Cuisine is in the process of being sold by its current owner company.

Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) has agreed the sale of Carroll Cuisine to Eight Fifty Food Group, the multi-protein food group owned by CapVest Partners LLP (CapVest), an international private equity investor.

The acquisition, terms of which are not being disclosed, is expected to complete during the first quarter of 2021.

Tullamore-headquartered Carroll Cuisine produces and distributes branded and private-label cooked meats, deli hams, chilled ready meals and other chilled food products to supermarkets and convenience stores throughout Ireland.

In 2015 CCI, the Irish private equity fund established by The Carlyle Group and Cardinal Capital Group, acquired Carroll Cuisine, backing the management team to complete a carve-out of the company from Aryzta AG.

The Carroll Cuisine management team is led by CEO Kieran Carolan, COO John Comerford and CFO Fiona Delaney.

According to CCI, during its ownership, Carroll’s “consolidated its position as a leading supplier of pre-packed sliced cooked meats, deli products and chilled ready meals in Ireland”.

“The company experienced strong growth, with turnover increasing by 50%, driven by investment in manufacturing capacity, innovation and new product development”, the group claims.

According to the new owner firm, Eight Fifty Food Group, Carroll’s will be integrated into the company’s pork division and will further expand Eight Fifty’s presence in the Republic of Ireland.

Upon completion, Eight Fifty will have sales of circa £1.9 billion and employ around 8,300 people across 23 manufacturing sites in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Germany and France.

Di Walker, CEO of Eight Fifty Food Group, commented: “We are delighted to add the Carroll’s business to our growing group.”

Kieran Carolan, CEO of Carroll Cuisine, said: “Our company has gone from strength to strength in the past five years.

“Jonathan Cosgrave and John Dolan strengthened our board and their advice and counsel was very valuable to us. We look forward to continuing to grow our company as part of Eight Fifty Food Group.”

John Dolan, managing director of Cardinal Capital Group, said: “We are very proud to have facilitated the rapid growth of Carroll’s Cuisine, which…has also more than doubled employee numbers from 150 in 2015 to 325 today.

The success of CCI-backed companies such as Carroll’s Cuisine and Lily O’Brien’s clearly demonstrates the growth potential of Irish food companies with the right investment partners.

Jonathan Cosgrave, partner at Melior Equity Partners which advises the CCI fund on behalf of The Carlyle Group, said: “During our partnership with Carroll Cuisine management, more than that €5 million has been invested to support manufacturing capacity expansion, new product development, and environmental and sustainability programmes.

“This investment enabled the brand to expand its presence in existing and new markets, increasing both sales and employment.

Eight Fifty Food Group’s acquisition of Carroll Cuisine is subject to approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).