The Sun Valley Nut Co acquired by German food group

German foods group Zertus has snapped up The Sun Valley Nut Company in Wirral as part of its drive into healthier snacking in the UK.

The deal sees ownership of the nut-based snacking brand move from the Hacking family, who founded the business in 1949.

The acquisition has been led by Paul Tripp, CEO Zertus UK & Ireland, who has recently also joined the international Zertus management board as MD.

“This is a strong acquisition for Zertus in the UK and one that complements our existing businesses in the healthier snacking sector,” he said.

“It will allow us to leverage our combined innovation and operational competencies to drive growth through exciting new products while enabling us to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations.”

Sun Valley supplies peanut and nut-based snacking products across the private label, foodservice and food ingredients channels as well as nuts, peanut butters and crisps under its own The Sun Valley Nut Co and Nuts For brands.

Jim Hacking, chairman of Sun Valley Nut Company, added: “We believe that in Zertus we have found the right long-term owner for the business.

“We’re confident that Zertus can make the necessary investments needed to take the business to the next level whilst preserving the heritage of the Sun Valley business we have lovingly built over the last 72 years.”

Freeths’ corporate team advised Zertus UK on the acquisition.

Sun Valley was advised by HURST.

Ben Bradley, an associate partner in HURST Corporate Finance, said: “It’s been a pleasure advising the Hacking family and management on the disposal of Sun Valley to Zertus. Sun Valley has a fantastic heritage and reputation in the market for its high-quality nut-based products.

“From the outset, it was clear that Zertus was a strong fit for the business, and we recognise the immediate benefits and opportunities that the transaction provides to both companies.

“We wish the Hacking family all the very best for the future and look forward to seeing Sun Valley flourish under new ownership.”