Endless-backed MBO named Deal of the Month

The management buyout of Vion's UK pork operation, backed by Leeds-headquartered private equity firm Endless, has been named as Insider's Deal of the Month for December.

The deal, which safeguarded 4,000 jobs, followed Vion's announcement in November that it was selling its UK food operations to focus on its core food activities in the Netherlands and Germany and its global ingredients business.

Vion's UK pork facilities are located at bases including Malton, Scunthorpe and Hull. The deal was led by Seamus Carr, managing director of Vion's pork business unit, who will be managing director of the new company.

He said: "Our ambitions for the new business are firstly to maintain the excellent levels of service and product quality which have helped us secure orders from all the major supermarkets and then to build upon the opportunities in the marketplace to grow the business."

Endless said it was a "strategically important business in the UK food sector", with its focus on local produce at a time when customer demand for British-sourced food is increasing.

Vion entered the UK in the late 1990s with the acquisition of Key Country Foods, followed by Tranfield and Grampian Country Food Group, supplying beef, lamb, pork and chicken products to food retailers, manufacturers and service providers.

Insider editor Richard Abbott said: "It could have been a miserable Christmas for employees at Vion's pork operation in the UK, and there was a real chance of losing an important business in the meat supply chain.

"So it was great to see Endless stepping in once again with the funding and expertise to safeguard jobs and enable this success story to continue."