Monday, March 1, 2021

Private equity fund swoops for Corby fruit supplier

Elaghmore, the UK Private Equity fund, has acquired Corby-based Orchard House Foods Ltd, the suppliers of prepared fruit, fresh fruit drinks and desserts, from Hain Celestial Group.

Orchard House and its associated brands supply retailers, on-the-go food outlets, food service providers and manufacturers throughout the UK.

Orchard House’s client list includes Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Pret A Manger, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

Headquartered in Corby, with additional facilities in Gateshead, Orchard House employs around 1,000 people.

A non-core asset for Hain, Orchard House fits Elaghmore’s investment strategy, which is to use its executive team’s proven operational skills to deliver significant growth and value creation.

Hain chose Elaghmore after a competitive bidding process. The decision was based on Elaghmore’s proven ability to quickly and efficiently complete deals, offering certainty of execution, despite the current challenging operating environment.

Furthermore, Elaghmore’s hands-on approach means it will support the Orchard House management team as the business enters its next growth stage.

Elaghmore founders Andy Ducker and David Manning have experience working with a global fruit business as investors and executives at Chaucer Foods. They developed and subsequently sold Chaucer Foods to Nagatanien Holdings Co. Limited in December 2016 in a deal worth $130 million.

Michael Rice, Investment Director at Elaghmore who led on the Transaction, said: “Orchard House is a market-leading business which supplies products that many UK customers buy daily.

“We are very proud that we will be part of Orchard House’s growth and development as we look beyond COVID-19. Orchard House is a flagship investment for Elaghmore, and our financial strength and operational expertise means we can help Orchard House prosper.

“Elaghmore’s deal pipeline is full of interesting opportunities. The pandemic has seen the need for many successful companies to seek new investment, especially as Government support schemes end, and bank support is limited. Elaghmore is well placed to help these companies, and we look forward to continuing to create significant value for our investors.”

Elaghmore was advised by global investment bank Houlihan Lokey, financial and tax advisers EY, and Squire Patton Boggs in Leeds in regards to legal.

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