Associated British Foods plc
is a British multinational
food, ingredients and retail group with sales of £6.0 billion and over 75,000 employees in 46 countries. It is headquartered in London
, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100
The company was founded by Willard Garfield Weston
in 1935, initially as Food Investments Limited
, with the name changing to Allied Bakeries Limited
a month later. In 1960 the name was changed again to Associated British Foods
. In 1963 the Company acquired Fine Fare
, a leading British supermarket
chain. Following the death of the founder in 1978, control of the company was passed on to his son Garry
, while the North American operations fell to his son Galen
. While Garry maintained the company's prominence in the European foods market, ABF's growth has been eclipsed by the phenomenal performance of George Weston Ltd.
in North America.
The company sold Fine Fare in 1986 and in 1991 went on to acquire British Sugar. In 1997 ABF sold its retail operations in Northern Ireland and the Republic to Tesco. These businesses were: Quinnsworth and Crazy Prices in the Republic of Ireland and Stewarts Supermarkets Ltd and Crazy Prices in Northern Ireland, the Stewarts Winebarrel off-licence chain, Lifestyle Sports & Leisure Ltd (a retail sports and leisure business), Kingsway Fresh Foods (a meat processing facility) and Daily Wrap Produce (a fruit and vegetable packaging plant).
In 2000 the company sold its interests in Burton's Biscuits. In 2004 it acquired the Tone's spice business and Fleischman yeast business from Burns Philp and in 2007 it purchased Patak's Indian food business.
The company trades using a number of well-known brand names:
Subsidiary companies include:
Some 54.5% of the Company is still owned by Wittington Investments, a company controlled by the Weston family. George G. Weston
became chief executive of ABF on 1 April 2005, and Galen Weston
, the chief executive of George Weston Ltd.
, is a non-executive director
. Garth Weston is Regional President of AB Mauri.