Jobs saved as Vion factories bought

A UK meat supplier has bought processing plants operated by Vion, securing around 1,500 jobs.

Birmingham-based 2 Sisters Food Group has announced it will purchase 11 plants from Dutch company Vion which is withdrawing from UK food operations.

The multimillion-pound deal secures the future of a poultry plant in Coupar Angus, Perthshire, employing 800 people.

It also includes red meat factories in Cambuslang, near Glasgow, Portlethen in Aberdeenshire and eight other plants in England and Wales.

An agreement was reached with Boparan Holdings, the holding company for 2 Sisters.

Ranjit Singh, chief executive of the food group, said: "We are delighted to be acquiring Vion UK's poultry and red meat businesses. They have faced significant uncertainty and tough trading in recent months but today's acquisition secures a viable future.

"This acquisition will safeguard a key supply chain for high-quality British poultry and meat, offering reassurance to farmers in England, Scotland and Wales and upholding the quality and provenance that UK customers and consumers deserve.

"We look forward to welcoming Vion colleagues to 2 Sisters Food Group and to working together to grow our business."

The Vion-operated Halls of Broxburn sausage factory closed last month with 1,700 workers losing their jobs. The Dutch firm said it wants to concentrate on its business in the Netherlands and Germany.

Peter Barr, chairman of Vion UK, said: "We are pleased to have reached such a positive conclusion to our discussions with 2 Sisters, one of the food sector's most successful and respected businesses."