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ABF Acquires Patak's

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29 May 2007

Associated British Foods plc ('ABF') the international food, ingredients and retail group today announced that it has reached agreement on the acquisition of the Patak's business from the founding Pathak family. Completion is subject to a number of conditions, including regulatory clearances, which are likely to be satisfied by the end of August 2007. The business comprises the Patak's brand and assets in all countries except India. The gross assets of the business being acquired as at 2 October 2005 were £40m.

Patak's is a leading brand in Indian cuisine and is widely recognised for its authenticity. It was established in England in 1957 and has grown strongly in the UK and has also established a wide international presence. It manufactures, markets and distributes Indian cooking sauces, curry pastes, chutneys and other meal accompaniments from the Indian sub-continent. In the UK it supplies both retail and foodservice. Its major factory is in Leigh, Lancashire. Unaudited revenue for the year to 30 September 2006 was £66m.

The grocery businesses of ABF are international. In the UK this includes the retail pan-oriental brand, Blue Dragon, and Westmill Foods is the largest supplier to the ethnic wholesale trade with a stable of brands including Pride Oil, Tolly Boy rice, Rajah spices and Lucky Boat noodles. In the US, ACH is a major retail supplier of herbs and spices.

The combination of Patak's with these existing businesses will create a leading position in the UK for the supply of world foods to both the retail and wholesale channels. These markets have grown strongly and this growth is expected to continue. ABF's grocery business outside the UK will provide the capability and resource to drive the international growth of Patak's.

Kirit Pathak will assume the role of chairman of the combined business of Patak's and Blue Dragon and Meena Pathak will also become a director. They will provide invaluable support in achieving the further growth of these brands.

George Weston, chief executive of Associated British Foods, said,
�We are privileged to be able to acquire as fine a business as Patak's. We look forward to working with Kirit and Meena Pathak to build this business further�.

Kirit Pathak, chairman of Patak's, said,
"With its experience in the world foods sector and international scale of operations, ABF is the ideal strategic partner for the Patak's brand. Moreover, this partnership will reinforce the leadership position of the Patak's brand in Indian food worldwide and significantly enhance the capacity of Patak's to realise its full global potential as the reference Indian food brand�.

For further information please contact:

Associated British Foods:

John Bason, Finance Director
Tel: 020 7638 9571

Geoff Lancaster, Head of External Affairs
Mobile: 07860 562 659

Citigate Dewe Rogerson:

Jonathan Clare/Chris Barrie/Fiona Bradshaw
Tel: 020 7638 9571

Notes to Editors

  1. Associated British Foods is a diversified international food, ingredients and retail group with global sales of £6 billion and 75,000 employees. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of £7.3 billion. It operates in 46 countries with significant businesses outside Europe in Southern Africa, the US, China and Australia.

    Its aim is to achieve strong, sustainable leadership positions in markets that offer potential for profitable growth. It strives to achieve this through a combination of organic growth, the acquisition of complementary businesses and achievement of high levels of operating efficiency. The group has established a track record of successful value adding acquisitions including AB Mauri, its leading international yeast and bakery ingredients business, Illovo Sugar, Littlewoods stores for Primark and the grocery brands Mazola and Ovaltine.
  2. The grocery businesses of ABF had sales of £2.7 billion and operating profit of £185m in the year to 16 September 2006. The major brands are Twinings and Ovaltine in hot beverages, Mazola and Capullo in North America vegetable oils and Kingsmill and Tip Top in bread and baked goods. We are a leading US marketer of herbs and spices with the Spice Islands, Tone's and Durkee brands. In world foods, rice, noodles and sauces are marketed under the Blue Dragon brand to the UK retail trade and under a number of ethnic brands to the UK ethnic wholesale trade.
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