THE North Yorkshire manufacturer of Fab ice lollies, which has been heralded as Europe's second largest ice cream maker, has bought out its Australian Rival.

R&R Ice Cream, based at Leeming Bar near Northallerton, has acquired Peters Food Group in a deal reported to be worth £247 million.

The move was backed by funds advised by R&R's French owners PAI Partners, and will see R&R take on Peters' brand portfolio which includes Maxibon and Drumstick.

R&R chief executive Ibrahim Najaf said: "Peters is an iconic Australian business and the leader in the Australian ice cream manufacturing market; it will be an exciting complement to R&R's European presence.

R&R, which owns Kelly's of Cornwall and YooMoo frozen yogurt, added that the existing Australian executive leadership team would continue to develop the Peters business locally and as a part of the broader global R&R business, which is "further establishing its position as a world leader in the ice cream manufacturing".

Stephen Audsley, chief executive of Peters, which is based in Mulgrave Victoria, and turns over £148 million, said: "Peters remains a proudly Australian company employing around 500 people across Australia.

"With the backing of R&R, Peters will continue to invest in its market leading brands including Drumstick and Connoisseur and in its long history of innovation."

Peters was bought from Nestlé in 2012 by Pacific Equity Partners.

R&R was given financial advice by Rothschild, Allen & Overy provided legal advice and KPMG provided accounting and tax advice.

R&R is owned by French private equity firm PAI Partners, in its last financial year saw turnover increase to £560 million from £493million.