It’s a win for both parties.
The takeover will allow private equity-owned Europe Snacks to accelerate its footprint in the UK.
Supported by Apax Partners, the Paris-based manufacturer first entered the UK market through the acquisition of co-packer Kolak Snack Foods in 2016. The merger created a snacking group with combined revenues of more than £200m.
Europe Snacks supplies products like peanut, quinoa and lentil snacks and employs a 1,800-strong workforce across its factories in France, the UK and Spain.
It also owns Grupo Ibersnacks in Spain, which it acquired in 2018.
The bolt-on of Burts – expected to be finalised next month – gives it a further handle into the UK’s massive snacks sector and allow it to ‘unlock growth’ through a wider portfolio and a ‘market-leading innovation pipeline’.
Strong track record of delivering growth
Burts will benefit from further investment in additional capacity.
Founded in 1995 as Burts Potato Chips, the company has grown rapidly, thanks to the 2017 acquisition of popcorn maker Savoury & Sweet, opening up new snacking categories. Burts saw revenues jump from £29.5m in 2017 to £68m in 2021.
The producer will continue to operate its two manufacturing plants – in Plymouth and Leicester – and current MD Dave McNulty will retain his position.
“Burts provides high-quality snacking and has a strong track record of delivering growth without ever compromising on quality,” said Burts’ chairman and majority shareholder Jitendrakumar Patel, who is also chairman of Empire Food Brokers.
“Since investing in the company back in 2006, it has been a very enjoyable and impressive journey.
“I am convinced this acquisition will open up new opportunities, as both businesses are complementary to each other and share deep common values.
“It has been an honour to work with the Burts Family over the years, and I would like to take this opportunity to wish the combined company every success in the years ahead.”
In line with the roadmap
Europe Snack said the coupling will enable it to better serve existing clients through additional capacity and improved service.
“Within a highly uncertain economic context, it is key to reach a size that allows us to keep investing in our people and in our factories,” said Etienne Lecomte, CEO of Europe Snacks.
“Thanks to the trust of our shareholders, it has been made possible, and I am very proud to welcome the Burts team to the group.”
Added Apax partner Bruno Candelier, “Since our initial investment in Europe Snacks [in 2013], we have continuously supported the company and its management team to position itself at the forefront of innovation and scale its business, notably in the UK with the transformational acquisition of Kolak in 2016.
“The acquisition of Burts is fully in line with the roadmap set when we originally invested.”
With 50 years of experience, Apax manages a fund of more than €5bn, working with high-growth companies in the tech & telecom, services, health and consumer goods sectors over the long term.
Investment bank Houlihan Lokey advised Burts on the sale.