Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., Greeley, Colo., announced plans to acquire Tulip Ltd., a UK-based integrated prepared foods supplier with 12 fresh and value-added operations in the United Kingdom, from Danish Crown, Denmark. This transaction creates what is said to be one of the largest integrated prepared foods businesses in the UK with a portfolio of brands and retail private label solutions.

“We are pleased to strengthen our European foods platform with the acquisition of Tulip Ltd., which positions Pilgrim’s as a leading global prepared foods player,” says Jayson Penn, global chief executive officer for Pilgrim’s. “The transaction represents the logical next step in our evolution to expand our geographical footprint, enhance our value-added portfolio and reduce volatility across our business with a more stable margin profile. Tulip Ltd.’s integrated production platform, consumer-ready innovation capabilities, well-invested assets, established customer relationships and strong leadership team will solidify Pilgrim’s platform for growth in the attractive UK market.”

“We welcome the talented Tulip Ltd. team members and management team, led by Andrew Cracknell, to the Pilgrim’s family, and we look forward to working together to drive growth and deliver value for our stakeholders,” Penn adds.

“Pilgrim’s is acquiring an industry-leading farming operation, a strong team of dedicated people and a network of well-invested manufacturing sites,” says Cracknell, chief executive officer of Tulip Ltd. “Our companies share a rich heritage in agriculture and food production with aligned values that put people and customers at the heart of all we do. The Tulip Ltd. leadership team and I look forward to working with our new colleagues to build upon the fantastic progress made within the business and realize our combined growth opportunities as we enter an exciting new phase.”

Tulip Ltd. is dubbed the largest pig producer in the UK, providing a variety of high-quality, innovative products to retail and foodservice customers.

“Pilgrim’s is already strongly positioned within the UK chicken market and would like to strengthen its position within the market for pork. On our part, we want to simplify our UK business. Going forward, we will supply Danish pork to Pilgrim’s, so all in all the transaction holds out interesting perspectives for both parties,” says Jais Valeur, group CEO of Danish Crown.

Under terms of the agreement, Danish Crown will continue to supply Danish pork to Tulip Ltd.