Tyrrells sold for £100M

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Investment, Tyrrells

Premium crisp maker Tyrrells was founded in 2002 by farmer Will Chase
Premium crisp maker Tyrrells was founded in 2002 by farmer Will Chase
Investcorp has bought crisp firm Tyrrells today (August 1) for £100M in what represents a rare foray into the food and drink manufacturing sector for the self-styled alternative investment company.

Investcorp struck a deal to acquire the business from private investment firm Langholm Capital following a lengthy sales process announced in May.

The deal represents the original sum touted for the manufacturer of premium crisps and snacks, pleasing Langholm, as well as Tyrrells ceo David Milner, who said: “Investcorp’s wealth of experience in supporting premium businesses executing their ambitious growth strategies will be invaluable.

“At Tyrrells, we have exciting plans to leverage our differentiated, high quality brand both at home as well as abroad. Investcorp is the ideal partner to help us all at Tyrrells Court Farm accelerate our growth momentum.”

Investcorp, which has offices in New York, London, Bahrain and Riyadh, has a diverse portfolio of more than 90 companies, including US outfits Main Street Dairy and root beer producer A&W. Past acquisitions have also included Tiffany and Gucci.

Commenting on the agreement, Julian Wild, partner and food and drink manufacturing mergers and acquisitions expert at law firm Rollits, told FoodManufacture.co.uk he believed Langholm had clinched a better deal than Investcorp.

‘Good return on investment’

“If £100M is the price then Langholm has done very well. That was a good return on their investment. It’s interesting that no international snacks player was willing to pay that price ...

“Recent growth for Tyrrells in exports suggests the UK is tougher. The market is super-competitive in snacks and big players like PepsiCo and Intersnack are formidable. Investcorp will do well to get a return on £100M in my humble opinion.”

Carsten Hagenbucher, principal in Investcorp’s European corporate investments team, commented: “The premium snacks market is very dynamic and attractive. Tyrrells’ offering is unique and the business has an excellent position in the UK and a rapidly growing international footprint. We are excited about partnering with Tyrrells’ entrepreneurial management team to accelerate the international expansion and to build a world-class business.”

Langholm, which bought Tyrrells in 2008 from founder Will Chase for close to £30M, has remained modestly quiet on the sale. Under its tenure, Tyrrells’ sales quadrupled from £12M to £50M and staff numbers almost tripled, rising from 100 to 270 employees.

Unilever an investor

Consumer goods giant Unilever is an investor in Langholm and looks set to benefit from any share gains in the firm as a result of the deal.

Tangerine Confectionery; US multinational Hain Celestial and an unnamed Japanese snack company were also touted as competing bidders for Tyrrells, which Langholm bought from Chase in 2008 for close to £30M.

Founded by farmer Chase at Tyrrells Court Farm, Herefordshire, in 2002, Tyrrells makes hand-cooked potato and vegetable crisps, premium snacks, including popcorn, and savoury nibbles. It has expanded internationally, establishing core overseas markets in Germany, France, Holland, the US, Switzerland and Canada accounting for approximately 20% of group turnover.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Snacks

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