ANOTHER leading brand has been brought into the fold by a leading Blackburn pet food manufacturer.

Chief executive Tony Raeburn and his team at Whitebirk-based Pets Choice have moved in to acquire Bob Martin (UK).

Administrators had been called in at the Bristol company, which makes Clear, Clear Plus and the cat litter brand Felight and can traces it history back to 1892, last week.

For an undisclosed fee, Pets Choice has secured the Bob Martin factory, assets and goodwill, as well as a brand licensing agreement with the Martin family to continue retailing their products in the same vein.

This deal has taken the number of lines at the Blackburn firm, which unveiled a new production facility earlier this year, to 12.

Mr Raeburn said: "We are very sorry to see such a long-standing, iconic brand like Bob Martin enter into administration.

"However we are honoured that the Martin family have entrusted Pets Choice to build upon the fantastic reputation that has been set out by the brand.

"We welcome the Bob Martin brand into our strong product portfolio which will complement our Webbox range and offer us a fantastic branded range of healthcare and cat litter products going forward."

In a statement, the Martin family added: "We are delighted to entrust Pets Choice to continue to market and sell our heritage brand throughout the UK and Europe.

"Bob Martin products will continue to reach all pet owners to ensure accessible healthcare solutions for all."

In recent years Mr Raeburn and the Lower Phillips Road company have also bought out hedgehog products specialist Spike's World and acquired Rufus Foods.

The Bob Martin announcement has rounded off a stellar November for Pets Choice.

Earlier in the month the firm was lauded at the Gulfood Manufacturing Awards, along with supplier DC Norris, for their new pet food plant.

Judges for the 'most innovative processing solution' category were impressed by the method of cooking and sterilising wet pet food in pipework using a ‘Jet Cook’ system, rather than in a vessel.