Young’s Seafood owner Eight Fifty Food Group sold to Canadian Sofina Foods

editorial staff

New company will have USD 6 billion in annual revenue.

In a press release, international private equity firm CapVest Partners writes that it has agreed on the sale of Eight Fifty Food Group to Sofina Foods, a leading Canadian multi-protein producer, for an undisclosed consideration.

CapVest acquired Karro Food Group, a leading UK pork processor, in 2017. CapVest and Management subsequently acquired seafood business Young’s Seafood in 2019 to create Eight Fifty Food Group. Eight Fifty later consolidated five other protein businesses from across Europe.

Karro Food Group
Founder and executive chairman of Sofina Foods Michael Latifi said the strong brands of Eight Fifty Food Group “align perfectly with our prominent brands and our shared future vision.”

According to Motor Sport Magazine, Latifi is worth USD 2 billion. He also bought a 10 per-cent stake in the McLaren Group through his investment company Nidala for USD 260 million in 2018.

Sofina Foods is one of Canada’s largest food producers and has a 25-year history of acquisitions. Its brands include Cuddy; Lilydale; Janes; Mastro; San Daniele; Fletcher’s, Vienna and Zamzam. Sofina Foods currently operates 21 different sites with 5,000 staff.

The new company will have over 13,000 employees globally across 44 sites and near USD 6 billion in annual revenue. The transaction is subject to approval from regulatory authorities.

CapVest Partner Jason Rodrigues said: “We’re confident that Eight Fifty will continue to flourish under Sofina Food’s ownership.”

Multi-protein specialist
CEO of Eight Fifty Di Walker said the company began “this journey as a UK-only pork supplier doing less than GBP 500 million in sales and after several years of transformational organic and acquisitive progress are now the European multi-protein specialist with over GBP 2 billion in sales.”

“This transaction and the interest in Eight Fifty is a great reflection on the quality of the business and testament to the work that CapVest and our entire management team have completed. We’re very excited to join Sofina Foods to deliver on their ambitious future growth plans,” she added.

CapVest and Management received financial advice from Jefferies, JP Morgan and Rothschild & Co, legal advice from Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Walker Morris, and financial and tax due diligence services from KPMG.

Sofina Foods received financial advice from Rabobank as the lead financial advisor and Scotiabank as the co-financial advisor. Additional advice was provided by PWC, Stikeman Elliott and Taylor Wessing.

Considerable growth
President and CEO of Sofina Foods Bob Wilt said that their new partners at Eight Fifty Food Group “have set the stage for considerable growth”.

“I look forward to working with Di and to welcoming Eight Fifty to the Sofina family, and to drawing upon the significant expertise that exists across both businesses,” he added.


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