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Managers buy out top Irish sandwich firm

Friday, April 04 11:27:18

Freshways, Ireland's largest sandwich maker, has been acquired in a management buyout from Kerry Foods by Diarmuid Shanahan and Garrett Fitzgerald for an undisclosed sum.

The business, which operates from a purpose built 60,000 sq. ft. production facility at Finglas will continue to employ more than 170 staff following the deal.

It has a turnover of around E25m a year.

The facility produces 300,000 handmade sandwiches each week for customers in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as manufacturing sandwich filler for delis and the convenience store market.

Diarmuid Shanahan, joint owner and Sales and Marketing Director, said the company will invest in growth.

"Freshways is the No. 1 producer of sandwiches in Ireland because we are committed to quality and freshness. This dedication to quality is of paramount importance for the future of the brand and the business. We have surrounded ourselves with people who share our desire to deliver good fresh food at an affordable price. Our staff members and senior management team have a wealth of experience and talent and they are an integral part our ambitious growth plans. We are investing significantly in our business to ensure we know the ins and outs of the lunchtime experience so we can make lunchtimes more enjoyable. Since the MBO, we have employed a number of new staff members and have plans to recruit 50 additional staff in finance, sales & marketing, IT and operational roles in the next 12 months."

Freshways was founded in 1990 and is Ireland's largest sandwich maker with one third of the Irish market. The company is a prominent supplier of branded and private label sandwiches to the major multiples, including convenience stores and forecourt retailers. In addition, Freshways supplies sandwiches for the retail market and is a major supplier of sandwiches to the food services and catering market, which includes workplaces, schools, colleges and hospitals. The company also supplies large-scale events such as race meetings and music and sporting events.