Scotland business

Fray Bentos acquired by Baxters

Fray Bentos products
Image caption Fray Bentos is best known for its range of canned meat pies

Scottish food group Baxters has announced it has acquired household brand Fray Bentos.

The Moray-based firm said it had bought the business and brand for an undisclosed sum from Princes Limited.

Manufacturing of Fray Bentos products will transfer over the next 12 months from Long Sutton in East Anglia to Baxters' production facility in Fochabers.

It is not known how many jobs will result from the switch.

Fray Bentos, which was launched in 1899, is best known for its range of canned meat pies, including steak and kidney and minced beef and onion.

Princes bought Fray Bentos from Premier Foods in February but agreed to divest the brand after competition concerns were raised by the Office of Fair Trading.

Baxters said it planned to invest and develop the brand to extend its reach into the ambient meat market.

'Heritage brand'

Baxters chairman Audrey Baxter said: "Like Baxters, Fray Bentos is a heritage brand and is known the length and breadth of the country, holding a special place in the hearts of British consumers both young and old.

"We have many exciting ideas to revitalise the brand as we aim to secure a strong foothold in the canned meat market."

Ms Baxter said Fray Bentos would provide "an array of opportunities" to develop the company's position in the UK market and internationally.

She added: "Manufacturing of the Fray Bentos products will transfer over the next 12 months to our Fochabers production facility.

"A substantial capital investment programme has also been approved to enable all the plant, machinery and production lines to be housed on-site."

Baxters Food Group produces a range of premium food products, including soups, savoury sauces, sour pickles, sweet sauces, preserves and salad accompaniments.

Commenting on the acquisition, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "It's great to see this iconic Scottish company going from strength to strength, growing and investing in Scotland.

"The jobs and investment in Fochabers are further proof - if it was ever needed - that Scotland is at the heart of the global food business."

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