SCOTS soup giants Baxters have taken over pie makers Fray Bentos.
Baxters took over the business and branding for an undisclosed sum.
Fray Bentos originally set up in 1899 is best known for its classic range of canned pies including household favourites, Steak & Kidney and Minced Beef & Onion.
Audrey Baxter, chairman, Baxters Food Group said: “Like Baxters, Fray Bentos is a heritage brand and is known the length and breadth of the country holding a special place in the hearts of British consumers both young and old. We have many exciting ideas to revitalise the brand as we aim to secure a strong foothold in the canned meat market.
“As a business we have constantly sought out new opportunities most recently through successful acquisitions in Canada and Australia and we also invested in a new-build Polish manufacturing operation – Fray Bentos will provide an array of opportunities to develop our position in the UK market and internationally.
“Manufacturing of the Fray Bentos products will transfer over the next 12 months to our Fochabers production facility. A substantial capital investment programme has also been approved to enable all the plant, machinery and production lines to be housed on-site.”
Today Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead welcomed the jobs and investment the take-over will bring.
He said: “It’s great to see this iconic Scottish company going from strength to strength, growing and investing in Scotland. The jobs and investment in Fochabers are further proof – if it was ever needed – that Scotland is at the heart of the global food business.
“I want to see more companies matching Baxter’s plans for growth and I applaud them for their continued ambition. Despite a tough economic climate, Scotland’s food and drink sector has continued to perform, with latest figures showing annual turnover hit a record high of 11.9 billion pounds, and I’m confident of a very positive future for the industry.”
Founded in 1868 the Baxter family has been producing high quality foods for four generations. Products include soups, savoury sauces, sour pickles, sweet sauces, preserves and salad accompaniments and are sold under a variety of brands owned by, or licensed to, the Baxters Food Group.