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MBO at Seabrook Crisps

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MBO at Seabrook Crisps

MBO at Seabrook Crisps
July 23
12:22 2015

LDC, the private equity part of the Lloyds Banking Group, has backed the management buy-out of English crisp brand Seabrook as the business embarks on a major growth drive to increase its market share. Established in 1945 by Charles Brook and his son Colin Brook, Seabrook produces a range of crinkle cut, straight cut and premium hand-cooked lattice crisps, as well as low-calorie stick snacks, at its headquarters in Bradford, Yorkshire. The company supplies over 20 million bags of crisps each month and employs nearly 150 staff.

Seabrook’s offering has been transformed in recent years with the launch of innovative products, including its ‘lattice’ range in 2014, and supported by new marketing campaigns and promotional strategy. As a result, it has grown distribution nationally, with strong positions in grocery retail, value retail and foodservice, and increased penetration to over one in four UK households.

The business has increased its retail sales value year-on-year by 12 per cent and continues to consistently outperform the overall UK crisp market, which has grown at 4.2 per cent CAGR since 2007 and is worth £1.1 billion. With an average of over 2.5kg of crisps consumed per person per year, the UK has the highest crisp consumption per capital in the world.

SeabrookCrispsLatticeThe management buyout has been led by chief executive Jonathan Bye who has overseen the strong growth of the Seabrook brand since his appointment in 2012. The transaction will see a full exit by owner Ken Brook-Chrispin.

The investment from LDC, which has taken a majority equity stake in the business, will support Seabrook as it looks to invest in its manufacturing infrastructure, new product development and progress international sales opportunities. In addition, the team has identified a number of potential acquisition targets which will further enhance the customer offering.

Jonathan Bye, chief executive of Seabrook Crisps, says: “LDC’s support for the MBO of Seabrook Crisps is great news and will help us to not only deliver but accelerate our growth plan. It will enable us to invest both in our operations to drive further efficiencies and flexibility and to increase marketing investment to continue to build the brand’s national profile. Importantly, this will drive the business forward with the same team that has put our winning brand strategy in place. As the main challenger brand  in the category we wanted to keep momentum and the same culture and expertise that helped deliver our growth so far.”

The deal follows LDC’s recent announcement to pledge £1.2 billion of capital over the next three years to invest in the UK’s mid-sized companies.

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