The Birmingham office of Aberdeen Asset Managers Growth Capital has announced the sale of its interests in TMI Foods.

The entire business has been bought by Irish group Dawn Farm Foods for an undisclosed price.

AAM client funds held 47 per cent of the equity of TMI. The rest was owned by the management team lead by Steen Stenholt and David Abbott.

TMI is a market leader in the UK in sales of microwave cooked bacon, other pork products and grilled vegetables. The business, headquartered in Northampton, has customers in the food manufacturing, food service and retail sectors.

Aberdeen originally supported a £4 million management buy-out of TMI in 2003.

TMI employs 170 people at two sites in the UK and for the year 2005 had a turnover of more than £15 million.

Dawn Farm Foods, which is based in Naas, County Kildare, and part of the Queally group, was established in 1984 and is a leading manufacturer of fully cooked meat ingredients for sale into the European food manufacturing and food-service sectors.

It exports 80 per cent of its output to over 30 countries worldwide serving customers in manufacturing, food service, pizza and sandwich businesses.

Larry Murrin, managing director, said: "The agreement to buy TMI delivers a significant step forward in the development of Dawn Farm Foods.

"We have established a leadership position in cooked meat ingredients based on our multi-species capability, product quality and safety, technical expertise and customer focus.

"TMI's expertise in microwave cooked bacon and grilled vegetables is a perfect comp lement to our well-established stable of products. We look forward to taking the business on to the next stage of growth."

Mr Abbott, managing director of TMI, who will remain with the business along with his senior management team, said: "Dawn Farm represents the perfect fit for TMI.

"It's a good deal for the owners and a good deal for the long-term interests of the workforce. The demand for cooked bacon and other products continues to be strong and working with Dawn Farm we can see opportunities in food-service, retail and food manufacturing. There are also growth prospects in export markets. The deal makes sense from both a financial and commercial perspective."

Mike Collis, head of portfolio management of Aberdeen, added: "I am very pleased with the way the business has grown and improved its profitability during our period of investment. The key to this success has been good management and a relentless drive in developing the business, growing sales and managing costs."

The sale secured a 3.2 times money return for Aberdeen clients and an internal rate of return of 46 per cent.

Both AAMGC and the shareholders of TMI were advised by Phil Jackson of the Milton Keynes office of accountants Grant Thornton together with Simon Gill and Amanda Onions of Birmingham law firm HBJ Gateley Wareing.