Devon-based Pasta King, the leading provider of nutritious pasta meals to schools in the UK, has been acquired by two business entrepreneurs from Northern Ireland, Paul Allen and Michael Blaney.

Established in 1994, Pasta King employs 70 staff at its headquarters in Newton Abbot, Devon, including a country wide network of field sales managers.

Pasta King supplies over 13 million nutritious ‘grab and go’ meals into the primary and secondary education sector in the UK, with a growing presence in the health and care sector.

The company has sales turnover of around £8million and operates through a network of 12 regional distribution centres to deliver chilled sauces on a daily basis.

Last year, Pasta King was recognised as LACA’s (Lead Association in Catering in Education) Outstanding Supplier of the Year 2018 within the education sector.

Paul Allen, who acquired Genesis Bakery in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland last year, and who was previously CEO of Tayto Group, said:

“There are significant synergies between Pasta King and the many other businesses that Michael and I have worked with in our careers to date. We believe that our combined insight into the market, coupled with our extensive network, will further Pasta King’s growth. We hope to build on this acquisition and look forward to working closely with the dynamic team at Pasta King. I must also pay tribute to both Keystone Law and Allied Irish Bank who have been most supportive through the entire purchase process. The service and assistance provided by both organisations has been outstanding.”

The Keystone team advising Paul Allen and Michael Blaney on the acquisition was led by Keystone NI Managing Director John McMahon with support from solicitor Lauren McGarry. John comments:

“We were delighted to again be instructed by Paul Allen and his acquisition vehicle Rotini Group Limited in connection with the Pasta King (UK) Limited acquisition having previously acted for Paul on the acquisition of the Genesis Crafty Bakery business in late 2018. Once again, this transaction was completed in a very short time largely down to the great working relationship between Paul’s management team, EY’s corporate finance team in Belfast and the Keystone Law NI team.”