Cool buyout for Newcastle food wholesaler

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hullets supplies frozen food from six depots across the UK
Hullets supplies frozen food from six depots across the UK

Related tags: United kingdom

Newcastle-based wholesaler Kitwave has scooped Sheffield frozen food firm Hulleys Frozen in its eleventh acquisition since securing a £7.5M cash injection.

The firm’s customer base had increased by 30,000 following the buyout of Hulleys, which trades as Angelbell Limited, Kitwave’s directors have said.

Hulleys was a family-owned business, which traded independently for more than 80 years. It distributes ice cream and other frozen products from six depots across the UK.

Its customers include Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, Flamingoland in North Yorkshire and the leisure park group Center Parcs.

Major cities

Smaller outlets, such as corner shops in major cities and beach side kiosks on the east and west coast of the UK, are also among its customers.

Kitwave expansion

  • Hulleys Frozen
  • Anderson Wholesale
  • Automatic Retailing
  • Teatime Tasties
  • Eden Farm
  • Squirrels UK

David Brind, Kitwave’s finance director, said: “The acquisition of Hulleys Frozen provides an exciting opportunity for the Kitwave Group, that will provide additional customers, products and services to our existing offering.

“In addition to the acquisition earlier this year of Squirrels UK, the Kitwave Group now has developed operations across the growing sectors of discount retail, foodservice and frozen products.”

Kitwave received a multimillion pound investment from NVM Private Equity in 2011 and has since bought food distributors including Anderson Wholesale, Automatic Retailing, Teatime Tasties, Eden Farm and Squirrels UK.

New finance deal

The acquisition of Hulleys was supported by a new finance deal from Barclays Bank. David Collins, relationships director at the bank, said: “As a longstanding Barclays customer, we are delighted to support Kitwave with facilities to support the acquisition of Angelbell Limited.

“This transaction substantially strengthens Kitwave’s offering in the frozen and foodservice sectors and also provides a real opportunity for the group to further grow their customer base.”

Mauro Biagioni, partner at NVM Private Equity, said: “Paul and the team are keen to make further acquisitions across their industry to continue to grow in a fragmented market.”

Meanwhile, Kitwave recently expanded its Eden Farm frozen food operations to Luton, in a bid to strengthen its transport links to London and south east England.

Eden Farm distributes products from food manufacturers including Aunt Bessie’s, Mars, Quorn, Ben and Jerrys, Cadbury and Dr Oetker, among others.

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