Yorkshire company set to grow after securing agreement with Premier Foods

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A YORKSHIRE company is poised for growth after securing a joint venture agreement with the maker of some of Britain’s best known food brands.

Premier Foods yesterday announced that it has reached a conditional agreement with Knaresborough-based Specialty Powders on a stand-alone joint venture to process and pack powdered beverages and desserts at Premier Foods’ Knighton facility in Staffordshire.

The new joint venture, to be named Knighton Foods, will combine the dry powders manufacturing skills and assets from both parties at the Knighton site.

The agreement will also lead to the transfer of two production lines from Knighton to Premier Foods’ manufacturing plant in Ashford, Kent.

The deal is expected to complete by the end of this month, and will result in the transfer of all 200 staff at the Knighton site to the new venture.

Premier’s chief executive Gavin Darby said the company had found a partner who was “highly successful and entrepreneurial” and committed to growing the business.

The move follows a deal earlier this year to hive off Premier’s Hovis arm into a joint venture with US private equity group Gores - cutting Premier’s holding to 49 per cent.

Mr Darby said: “This agreement will help to improve the efficiency of Premier’s grocery infrastructure.”

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