The leadership of one of Britain’s largest food companies has changed following a huge takeover earlier this year.
Michael Latifi, founder and executive chairman of Canadian giant Sofina Foods, will lead the UK and European branch, created after the addition of Eight Fifty Food Group to the portfolio.
It is the parent company of Karro Pork and Young’s Seafood, themselves brought together by the investment company CapVest in 2019.
The March deal created a £ 4.3 billion transatlantic seafood cluster, employing more than 13,000 people.
Diane Walker, who led Karro and then the group at large after the merger, is stepping down, as is group CFO Michael Kestemont.
Mr. Latifi, Founder and Executive Chairman of Sofina Foods, said: “Following the acquisition of Eight Fifty Food Group by Sofina Foods earlier this year, I have spent considerable time learning about our operations in the UK. United and in Europe in order to develop my growth priorities. .
“I am pleased to announce that I will assume the leadership of Sofina’s UK and European operations, which will allow me to vigorously pursue our vision to be the most successful food company in the world. In this regard, I am fortunate to benefit from the considerable business and leadership expertise of Steve Ellis and Simon Smith, who respectively lead the Karro Pork and Young’s Seafood businesses. Together, we will continue to integrate and implement Sofina’s strategy for the UK business while providing our customers with the best possible service in these difficult times.
“As a result of this change, Di Walker and Michael Kestemont will be stepping down as CEO of the group and CFO of the group. I am very grateful for their help with the acquisition and am delighted that they continue to provide advice and guidance as we move forward with the integration and growth of our business. “
Mr Smith, recently appointed director of the wider company, joined Young’s from Seachill, his rival from Grimsby, in 2018. Mr Ellis has served as Managing Director of Karro, based in Malton, since 2017.
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The larger company has interests in Ireland, France and Germany – the latter coming with the addition in 2000 of Greenland Seafood, a complementary continental operation.
Sofina Foods is one of Canada’s largest food producers with a 25-year history of acquisition, growth and success.
Brands are staples in Canadian households and include Cuddy; Lilydale; Janes; Mastro; San Daniele; Fletcher’s, Vienna and Zamzam.
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