Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Reece Group Invests in Food Technology Firm

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Reece Group Invests in Food Technology Firm

Article excerpt

Byline: ENGINEERING COREENA FORD coreena.ford@ncjmedia.co.uk

AN INNOVATIVE North East engineering business is continuing its strategy of diversification by investing in game-changing food processing technology.

Reece Group's businesses operate in the defence, oil and gas, power generation, construction, medical and subsea sectors, but following a recent move into Armstrong Works the group said it was aiming to build a presence within more modern markets.

In line with that strategy, the group has now completed an investment in Continuous Retorts Ltd (CRL), a designer and manufacturer of food processing equipment, taking a major stake in the Newcastle business.

By joining forces, both companies hope CRL will become a major player in the global processing market.

CRL joins an impressive portfolio of businesses including pothole solutions firm Velocity, counter-IED specialist Pearson Engineering, and manufacturers Responsive Engineering and Pipe Coil Technology, which have a growing list of blue chip clients including Siemens, the MoD, SMD and armed forces around the world.

Based in Gosforth, Newcastle, CRL developed a system that enables food contained in plastic laminate pouches, pots, trays, as well as more traditional packaging such as tin cans and glass jars to be sterilised or pasteurised at a high speed and low unit cost.

Reece Group has acquired a major stake in the business and the cash to acquire this investment will be used by Continuous Retorts for product development and to provide working capital to take the business forward, while also tapping into Reece Group's engineering expertise.

The engineering group will benefit from the profits achieved by the business and has also be given options to fully acquire the business at which time existing shareholders will benefit. Reece Group CEO Phil Kite said: "We are delighted to be able to invest in Continuous Retorts who are at the leading edge of innovation in the food processing sector. …

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