Private equity firm NBGI, which bought the manufacturer from McCambridge Group in 2012, has sold a majority stake in the business to Endless. NBGI will remain as a co-investor.
Bright Blue Foods is headquartered at two bakeries in Blackburn, Lancashire, and ranks as one of the UK's largest manufacturers of mince pies and Christmas cakes.
The firm makes own-label cakes for retailers, including Tesco and Marks & Spencer, as well as manufacturing cakes under licence for Mars and Auntie Bessie’s.
Bright Blue Foods at a glance
- More than 700 staff
- Headquartered at two bakeries in Blackburn
- Operates from Bradford and Poland
- Sales expected to exceed £70M this year
Steve Crossley, who will continue to lead the business as chief executive officer, welcomed the acquisition by Endless.
‘Real competitive advantages’
“We have a strong, well invested business with real competitive advantages and we are delighted that Endless is keen to back our growth plan,” Crossley said.
“Our recent bakery rationalisation in the UK and expansion in Poland gives us an opportunity to provide our customers with a compelling proposition and we have high aspirations for the future.
“This is an exciting time for everyone at Bright Blue Foods and we intend to take full advantage of the support provided by our new investors.”
Bright Blue Foods underwent a restructure last year, resulting in the closure of its Wiltshire operations and its factory in Manchester.
- More than £150M in UK businesses this year
- Management buyouts of High Street TV, Essential Fleet Services and Imtech UK
Investment in buyouts
The deal is Endless’s tenth investment this year after the private equity firm announced that it had raised a fund of £525M to invest in buyouts, non-core acquisitions and refinancing.
Endless partner Mathew Deering welcomed Di Walker, who works with Endless at its pork processor Karro Food Group, to the board.
“We are delighted to have the chance to back Bright Blue and support Steve and the team’s ambitions to take a long established north west business forward,” he said.
“Bright Blue has a high quality reputation for its product quality and range of capabilities and we are excited about the plans to enhance this further.”
Meanwhile, former Sainsbury md Justin King has confirmed that he is joining private equity firm Terra Firma.
Verdict from Bright Blue Foods
“Our recent bakery rationalisation in the UK and expansion in Poland gives us an opportunity to provide our customers with a compelling proposition."
- Steve Crossley, ceo at Bright Blue Foods