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From | Tuesday 5 June 2018

The chairman of Hull-based William Jackson Food Group has said its deal to sell Aunt Bessie's to the food giant behind Birds Eye and Findus presents "a great, long-term opportunity" for the famous Yorkshire pudding brand.

It was revealed yesterday (4 June 2018) that Nomad Foods has reached an agreement to acquire the business from William Jackson & Son in a deal that values Aunt Bessie's at about €240m (£210.3m).

The brand generated revenues and adjusted EBITDA of approximately €123m (£107.8m) and €23m (£20.2m), respectively in the year ending April 2018.

Nicholas Oughtred, William Jackson Food Group chairman, said: "As a responsible business owner we must do what we believe is right for every one of our businesses and this sale presents a great, long-term opportunity for Aunt Bessie's.

"Aunt Bessie's has come a long way with us. We've invested heavily in developing the business and the brand, and Nomad Foods is well placed to take the business even further. Nomad Foods is a well-known food group with a strong commitment to the frozen category, incredible experience, scale and investment capabilities and I'm sure Aunt Bessie's will continue to thrive.

"We are exceptionally proud of everyone who works at Aunt Bessie's and are grateful to them for helping it become the much-loved household name that it is today."

William Jackson & Son was founded in Hull in 1851 and comprises of a portfolio of food businesses. Alongside Aunt Bessie's, it also owns MyFresh, Abel & Cole and Jackson's Bakery.

Noam Gottesman, Nomad Foods' co-chairman and founder, added: "The acquisition of Aunt Bessie's illustrates the power of our value creation model which is fueled by organic revenue growth, strong free cash flow and disciplined M&A.

"Similar to Goodfella's Pizza, which we acquired earlier this year, Aunt Bessie's is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings while providing complementary category exposure, synergy opportunities and new avenues for growth. We look forward to welcoming the Aunt Bessie's team to our organization and working together to build on their success."

Stamford Partners acted as corporate financial advisor and Addleshaw Goddard acted as legal advisor to WJFG on the transaction.