Sofina acquires Young’s Seafood owner

Canadian multi-protein producer Sofina Foods Inc. has agreed to the acquisition of the Eight Fifty Food Group from international private equity firm CapVest Partners LLP for an undisclosed sum, the privately-owned company has confirmed.

Operating 21 different sites and employing approximately 5,000 people, Sofina is one of Canada’s largest food producers and has a 25-year history of acquisitions. Its brands include Cuddy, Lilydale Janes, Mastro, San Daniele, Fletcher’s, Vienna, and Zamzam.

“As a leading Canadian multi-protein specialist, this acquisition allows Sofina Foods to continue on our path of ambitious expansion,” Sofina Foods Founder and Executive Chairman Michael Latifi said. “With a history of excellence in food production and processing spanning over 25 years, the strong brands of Eight Fifty Food Group align perfectly with our prominent brands and our shared future vision.”

Eight Fifty was created by CapVest in 2019 following its purchase of Young’s Seafood, and its 2017 acquisition of U.K. pork processor Karro Food Group. Five other European protein businesses were later added to the food group.

Today, it employs around 8,300 people across 23 manufacturing sites.

“We began this journey as a U.K.-only pork supplier doing less than GBP 500 million [USD 691.7 million, EUR 586.9 million] in sales, and after several years of transformational organic and acquisitive progress, are now the European multi-protein specialist with over GBP 2 billion [USD 2.8 billion, EUR 2.3 billion] in sales,” Eight Fifty CEO Di Walker said. “This transaction and the interest in Eight Fifty is a great reflection on the quality of the business and testament to the work that CapVest and our entire management team have completed. We’re very excited to join Sofina Foods to deliver on their ambitious future growth plans.”

Walker will continue to lead the company.

“We’ve created a leading European multi-protein business through a combination of strategic investment in our core asset base and complementary acquisitions of fantastic national champions. Eight Fifty delivers best-in-class products to our customers and consumers and we are all very proud of what Di Walker and her team have achieved over the last four years. We’re confident that Eight Fifty will continue to flourish under Sofina Food’s ownership,” CapVest Partner Jason Rodrigues said.

CapVest received financial advice from Jefferies, JP Morgan and Rothschild & Co., legal advice from Willkie Farr & Gallagher and Walker Morris, and financial and tax due diligence services from KPMG.

Sofina Foods received financial advice from Rabobank as the lead financial advisor and Scotiabank as the co-financial advisor. 

Photo courtesy of JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock


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