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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 May 2007, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
AB Foods buys curry firm Patak's
Patak's products
Patak's employs 650 people at its Wigan factory
Food giant Associated British Foods is to buy the Patak's Indian food business from its founders, the Pathak family.

Under the deal, AB Foods will take on the company's entire business and brand - except for its operations in India.

Based in Wigan, Lancashire, Patak's was set up by the Pathak family in 1957 and it is thought to supply about 75% of the UK's Indian restaurants.

The group also sells cooking sauces, curry pastes, chutneys and pickles in more than 40 countries worldwide.

In addition, Patak's makes own-brand products for supermarket chains including Tesco.

'Leading position'

Both firms declined to say how much the deal was worth, but the Patak's business is worth an estimated 200m.

AB Foods said the move would create a "leading position in the UK for the supply of world foods to both wholesale and retail channels", with the Patak's brand sitting alongside its other international food names such as its "pan-oriental" Blue Dragon line.

"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," added Patak's chairman Kirit Pathak.

Under the agreement, the Pathak family will remain involved in the business with Kirit Pathak becoming chairman of ABF's combined world foods group, while his wife Meena will become a director.

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