Branston owner Premier Foods yesterday confirmed a £460 million takeover of the UK and Ireland operations of Campbell Soup.
US giant Campbell - the world's largest soup maker - said in March it wanted to offload the division as it had not grown as quickly as expected.
The business, whose brands include Oxo, Batchelors, Homepride and Fray Bentos, generated annual sales of £263 million in the UK and Ireland.
Premier's chief executive Robert Schofield said: "The Campbell's UK business fits Premier like a glove. The acquisition will bring an excellent portfolio of powerful and iconic brands which we intend to drive forward with increased resource and innovation."
Campbell, which began manufacturing in the UK in 1959, employs 3,000 people across Europe.
Premier said it was too early to comment on its plans for the manufacturing operations of Campbell.
However, it said it expected to achieve cost savings from the combination of the two businesses worth £28 million in three years.
St Albans-based Premier, which also makes Ambrosia custard and Smash instant mash potato, said an announcement on potential changes would not be made until August.
The company said it would fund most of the deal through the issue of new shares, which it said was expected to raise around £450 million.
Last week, Premier revealed it had been rewarded for its £172 million acquisition of Quorn with a double digit percentage rise in sales of the product for the first six months to July 1.
The company has also been encouraged by the performance of Branston Baked Beans, which it said had consolidated its market share at around ten per cent as it takes on rival Heinz in a sector worth £250 million-a-year.
Premier Foods said it had not yet made any decisions about the combined structure of the two businesses.
It said in a statement it expects a number of the existing Campbell's UK team to become managers of the newly enlarged group.
Campbell's employs around 1,000 people at four sites in the UK, including King's Lynn, Worksop, Ashford and Cambourne in Cambridgeshire.
Premier has seven factories in the UK, including sites at Bury St Edmunds, Histon, Spalding, Manchester, Wisbech, Stafford and Lifton in Devon.
Premier Foods said it would finance the acquisition mainly from a fully underwritten rights issue.
It said the deal, which does not include debt, would boost profit margins in the first full year of ownership. Premier Foods is valued at about £788 million.
Finance director Paul Thomas said: "Our strategy has been acquiring iconic British brands and in the last three years we made big acquisitions and funded each one of those with debt. As a consequence we are taking this opportunity to raise additional equity to allow more flexibility in the balance sheet."
The rights issue, which will be offered at a minimum sub-scription price of 160p per new share, has been fully under-written by Merrill Lynch and Hoare Govett. Price will be announced later.
Shares closed up 20p at 329.5.