Fane Valley Group has acquired Silver Hill Foods, the Monaghan-based Irish duck producer and exporter.

Northern Ireland based Fane Valley has been Silver Hill Foods’ feed nutrition partner for over 20 years.

The announcement by Stuart Steele, Silver Hill Foods owner, will secure ongoing investment in the development of the existing production site at Emyvale to keep pace with rapidly growing global demand for Silver Hill Foods world class Irish duck.

Stuart Steele said: “This is a good news story for our employees first and foremost, for Emyvale and for all our growers, suppliers and customers, especially with Brexit causing uncertainty in this region.

Fane Valley has been our long-term feed nutrition partner for over two decades, so this was a very natural fit for both companies.

The current management team will continue to manage the business with new directors joining the board, representing Fane Valley.

Steele added: “Keeping the business in Irish control and based in Emyvale was an intrinsic part of the negotiations and subsequent sale."

The acquisition builds on the existing relationship between Fane Valley and Silver Hill, according to the two firms.

“Our loyal customers and employees have always been at the forefront of any decisions we have taken regarding the company over the years, and this decision was no different. We have additionally chosen Fane Valley as they share the same values that made Silver Hill successful over the past 56 years.”

Fane Valley Group chief executive Trevor Lockhart commented: “Fane Valley is delighted to have acquired a highly reputable Irish agri-food business such as Silver Hill Foods.”

“Fane Valley is committed to future investment in production facilities on the Emyvale site to enable Silver Hill to meet growing demand, particularly in Asian markets including new areas such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

We are excited by the growth prospects and the opportunities this will present for all stakeholders in the business including the dedicated grower base.

Silver Hill CEO Micheal Briody siad: "With Brexit there is a lot of uncertainty in the Food sector in Ireland, particularly around the border region. We are showing our confidence in our employees, our growers and suppliers, our customers and ultimately our belief in Silver Hill Irish Duck.”