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Sale could save airline food jobs.

Byline: DAVID JONES

LEADING ready meals manufacturer CFH Limited has acquired the trade and assets of Wrexham-based Delta Dailyfood (UK),a major supplier of frozen airline food.

The Oxfordshire-based company completed the purchase -through its wholly owned subsidiary Country Foods Ltd -with the receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers for an undisclosed sum.

Delta Dailyfood (UK) was established in 1993 as part of the Royal Cebeco group, a Dutch agricultural co-operative.

It became the subject of a management buy out in May 2002 but went into receivership on March 5 this year.

CFH said it is working to safeguard the jobs of Delta Dailyfood's 140 employees at the plant on Wrexham Industrial Estate and to provide support for the growth and future development of the business.

Managing director Alan Jeyes said: ``The acquisition of Delta Dailyfood underpins our rapid growth as a leading manufacturer of frozen ready meals.

``The enlarged CFH Group will now be producing more than 30 million frozen meals a year, with half of them sold to the retail trade and the other half to the airline and commercial catering sectors. Combined sales will be in excess of pounds 20ma year.''

CFH operates from a modern,automated manufacturing facility in Oxfordshire.

It doubled the size of its factory in a pounds 1.7m investment programme two years ago and makes frozen convenience ready meals for the major multiples and the convenience sector. The business is well known for its Cook's and Crafty Cook ranges of traditional frozen meals.

Delta Dailyfood is part of the burgeoning food sector in north east Wales and CFH said the business fitted well into its existing portfolio.

But the new owners of the business said it was too early to say whether there will be fresh investment on the Wrexham site.

A CFH spokesman said: ``Certainly the plan is to build the business and develop it within the overall framework of CFH.

``Delta DailyFood does a lot of frozen meals for the airline industry but over the years has also diversified into commercial catering, for hospitals and educational establishments,for example.

``CFH decided to acquire the Wrexham operation because it dovetailed well into its existing business.''

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 18, 2004
Words:366
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