The Hain Celestial Group has acquired the assets of the Linda McCartney branded products and meat-free business from HJ Heinz Company.

The deal also includes the manufacturing facility based in Fakenham, England. Hain, whose brands include Celestial Seasonings and Terra Chips, expects the acquisition to contribute to its earnings for 2007 fiscal year. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

This is Hain’s second acquisition from Heinz since May, when it acquired the company’s fresh prepared foods operations. Heinz is selling the Linda McCartney business to focus on its core products including ketchup and baby food.

Hain, the New York-based organic and natural food producer, plans to expand the Linda McCartney frozen meat-free business in Europe and throughout North America.

We now have the premier meat-free brand which will further support our expansion of natural and organic products. Acquiring the Linda McCartney range of vegetarian products reinforces our commitment to growing in this marketplace, said Irwin Simon, president and CEO of Hain.

We are delighted to be joining together with Hain Celestial…to produce an even better range of foods than we have ever made before, the McCartney family said in a statement.

We believe that the visions of both our companies fit perfectly with our desire to encourage more and more people to eat pure, vegetarian food. It was this desire that motivated Linda when she started Linda McCartney Foods originally and we hope to continue her good work and in doing so, her legacy.