Belfast Telegraph

Henderson Group in takeover of another Republic-based firm

By Ryan McAleer

orthern Ireland retail and wholesale giant Henderson, the family firm behind convenience store brand Spar, has acquired another company with assets in the Republic.

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The Henderson Group, which last year posted record sales of £759m, has bought Foodco, a foodservice company which has distribution depots in both Ashbourne, Co Meath and Lisburn.

The group said yesterday that the potential impact of Brexit was not the prime driver in the Foodco acquisition. However, a spokeswoman said: "Given that there is currently uncertainty, it will be an added advantage to have a base in Co Meath when servicing our Republic of Ireland customers."

Foodco operates a fleet of multi-temperature vehicles, specialising in the supply of bespoke products to the foodservice industry throughout Ireland. The takeover follows the Henderson Group's move last August to acquire Monaghan firm BD Foods.

The Glaslough company, which was started in 1993 by the father of Irish rugby star Tommy Bowe, specialises in supplying luxury fine foods.

Foodco has been acquired by Henderson Foodservice, one of the subsidiaries of the overall Henderson Group.

Foodco will continue to operate as a stand-alone business with its existing management and board and will retain its corporate name and identity. The expansion comes as the Henderson Group moves closer to the £1bn sales mark.

Chief financial officer Ron Whitten said: "Our purchase of Foodco follows the successful acquisition of BD Foods and will further strengthen the product portfolio at Henderson Foodservice. It also presents substantial opportunities for us to increase our collective customer base across the island of Ireland."

Cathal Geoghegan, managing director of Henderson Foodservice, added: "The acquisition occurs at an exciting time for us as a business. Following a record-breaking turnover in 2018, we're delighted to welcome the staff and management of Foodco into our company portfolio."

In a joint statement, Foodco's board of directors Alan Kelly, Gary McIlroy, Barry Monaghan and Robert Walsh said: "This is a great opportunity for the staff and ourselves to continue the expansion of the business by being part of one of the largest foodservice companies in Ireland, Henderson Foodservice."

Belfast Telegraph