London group in bid to buy company that runs Cookstown pork factory


A London based investment group is reportedly nearing a deal to buy Karro Food Group, which owns and runs Cookstown's pork factory.

But a spokesperson for Karro said it would not be commenting on the acquisition by private equity firm CapVest, which is estimated to be worth £180m.

Headquartered in Yorkshire, Karro Food Group supplies pork to retail, food and manufacturing customers from pig farms across the UK.

This paper reported in April last year how Karro Cookstown had secured a new contract to provide Cookstown sausages to 16 Asda stores across Northern Ireland.

While in September it was revealed that Cookstown pork factory was the largest pig processing plant in the UK and Ireland, with 1.2 million pigs processed there each year.

CapVest has already had some success in the food industry

It bought seafood company Youngs in 2002 for £140m and Findus in 2006 for £436m, before joining the groups, and selling them off for £1.1billion as joined entity Lion Capital.

Karro recorded earnings before tax of £26.6m in 2015, which had increased from £18.6m the previous year.

It employs 3,500 staff across the UK and supplies supermarket giants Tesco, Sainsbury, Marks & Spencer and Dunnes as well as Asda.