Kerry has agreed to buy Hare Topco, trading as Niacet, from an affiliate of funds advised by SK Capital Partners and other shareholders, for approx. $1.02 billion.

Serving customers in more than 75 countries across the globe, Niacet is a provider of preservation technologies, such as low-sodium systems for meat and plant-based food.

According to Kerry, the preservatives maker is differentiated by its proprietary drying and granulation process technologies in its key market categories of bakery, meat and pharmaceuticals.

Niacet is expected to have pro forma annualised revenue of around $220 million for the year ended 31 December 2021.

Following the acquisition, the company will be integrated into Kerry’s food protection and preservation platform.

Niacet is said to offer complementary capabilities to Kerry, and the deal is expected to enhance the Irish company’s portfolio, allowing it to meet customer needs across clean label, conventional and combined solutions.

The deal is also expected to bring ‘significant revenue synergy opportunities’ through combining products and process technologies.

The transaction is anticipated to close by the end of the third quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Last week, Kerry announced that it had agreed to offload its consumer foods’ meats and meals business in the UK and Ireland to Pilgrim’s Pride for €819 million.

The Niacet acquisition will be funded through a combination of existing liquidity and a dedicated bridge facility, with the bridge facility to be repaid out of proceeds from the meats and meals business sale.

“The acquisition of Niacet’s complementary product portfolio enhances our leadership position in the fast-growing food protection and preservation market and significantly advances our sustainable nutrition ambition,” said Edmond Scanlon, CEO of Kerry.

“Niacet is a business with market-leading positions, differentiated technologies and a strong and highly experienced management team.

“We are pleased to welcome the Niacet team to Kerry and we are excited at the potential the combination of our two businesses offers to outperform in this important and attractive market.”

Kelly Brannen, CEO and significant minority owner of Niacet, said: “I’d like to thank our employees for their dedication and commitment and SK Capital for its support throughout its ownership period.”

He added: “We view the sale to Kerry as a perfect fit. It will allow Niacet to grow at a much faster rate and sell in new markets around the world. We are very pleased to become part of the Kerry family.