Asda buys two major meat suppliers

Picture: PA

Picture: PA

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SUPERMARKET giant Asda has added two large meat manufacturers to its portfolio with the acquisition of two of its key suppliers.

The Leeds-headquartered firm bought sister firms Forza AW and Kober, which produce Asda’s own label cooked meat and bacon products, from businessman Max Smith-Hilliard.

The businesses employ around 1,800 in West Yorkshire.

The deals, which were done through Asda’s produce retail business International Procurement and Logistics (IPL), follow the supermarket’s five-year joint venture with the two businesses.

Normanton-based Forza, which produces cooked meats, posted a £301.7m turnover in the 53 weeks to January 3, 2015, and generated pre-tax profits of £23.5m.

Kober, based in Cleckheaton, which employs about 560 staff and supplies bacon rashers, steaks and joints, generated sales of £141m and pre-tax profits of £2.17m in the same period. Both companies have been sole Asda suppliers since January 2011.

Mr Smith-Hilliard will join IPL to run its protein division.

Nick Scrase, chief executive of IPL, said: “Our one defining strategy that drives our business model is to simplify supply chains by cutting out the middle-man and then passing these cost savings onto Asda customers.

“We have had a hugely successful partnership with Max Smith-Hilliard over the last five years which has driven significant savings and created a world-class business which we are proud to be bringing into the IPL family.”

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