Cranswick, a leading UK food producer, has announced that it has acquired the whole of the issued share capital of Dunbia Ballymena for cash.

Dunbia Ballymena is a leading Northern Irish pork processing business which currently employs 360 people and processes around 7,800 UK farm-assured pigs each week.

This acquisition enhances Cranswick’s pig processing capability and establishes a significant presence in Northern Ireland.

Dunbia Ballymena operates from a modern, purpose built facility in Country Antrim, Northern Ireland and has a strategic, well-established supply chain with strong links to the local farming community. In the year to March 29, 2016 revenues were £72.4m (€67.5m).

Jack Dobson, Executive Director of Dunbia Limited, will support Ballymena in a consultancy capacity to help ensure a smooth transition.

The transaction will be funded from Cranswick’s existing debt facilities and is expected to be earnings neutral in the current financial year and earnings enhancing in fiscal year 2018.

Adam Couch, CEO of Cranswick, said that the acquisition strengthens its UK pork processing business and provides the company with greater control over its supply chain, ensuring that it can maintain the production and processing of high quality, UK farm-assured, pigs which is central to Cranswick’s customer’s requirements.

“The management at Ballymena have created long lasting and sustained supply chain relationships and we look forward to building on this and continuing to invest in the facilities, and the team, over the years ahead.

“We welcome Jack and the team at Ballymena to Cranswick and look forward to working with them to develop the business further.”