Wholesaler snaps up sugar-free sweets firm

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Lancashire

Wholesaler Morris and Son has bought sugar-free confectionery manufacturer Sweet Luxuries, as its second acquisition in a few weeks.Sweet Luxuries,...

Wholesaler Morris and Son has bought sugar-free confectionery manufacturer Sweet Luxuries, as its second acquisition in a few weeks.

Sweet Luxuries, which makes sweets under the Sugarless brand, is based in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, and will add an estimated £1M to Morris and Son’s sales in the coming year. A total of 15 jobs will be secured at the processor as a result of the deal, which was structured by BTG McInnes Corporate Finance in Leeds.

This latest deal follows swiftly on the heels of Morris and Son's purchase of Stockley's Sweets, based in Oswaldtwistle, near Accrington. It also gives Morris and Son access to the expertise of Brian Siron, who has been working in sweet manufacturing for 30 years and remains as operations director at Sweet Luxuries. “His knowledge of product development, manufacturing techniques and the wider marketplace per se will vastly strengthen the Stockley’s business,” said Andy Needham, boss of Morris and Son.

Siron was chief engineer at Harlow’s Mintos in Leeds, before becoming production director and then buying the company. He went on to sell this to Dainty Confectionery in Blackpool. After that, he worked for several years on a consultancy basis advising on sugar free manufacturing processes before setting up Sweet Luxuries nine years ago in partnership with American firm Sweet’N Low.

He helped develop the UK’s first sugar free sweets for a diabetic range at Boots the Chemist 30 years ago.
Steve Roberts of BTG McInnes said: “These businesses will all benefit from working together and we remain open to opportunities to continue growth by acquisition of the right businesses.”
Morris and Son’s combined confectionery processing facilities now amount to two factories in Accrington, Lancashire, and Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, as well as distribution depots in Manchester, Blackburn and Leeds that employ 95 staff. They supply independent sweet shops and small chains and Morris and Son estimates that they represent £3.5M in sales.