Family-owned biscuit manufacturer bought out after 100 years

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sweet deal: former TJF's owners Steve (left) Sue and Graham Fudge
Sweet deal: former TJF's owners Steve (left) Sue and Graham Fudge

Related tags: Property, Leveraged buyout

Luxury biscuit and cracker manufacturer Thomas J Fudge’s (TJF’s) has ended 100 years of family ownership, after a management buyout with help from investors.

The company, which had 133 staff working at its site in Stalbridge, Dorset, supplied to many supermarkets including Waitrose, Morrisons and Tesco.

The investment of an undisclosed amount came from mid-market private equity business Livingbridge, which TJF’s hoped would take the company closer to its goal of becoming the UK’s top premium biscuit brand.

Joint mds

Paul Vita and Vickie Best, commercial and operations director respectively of TJF’s, were backed by Livingbridge. The two will take over as joint mds.

“The new partnership and investment from Livingbridge brings great opportunities at this exciting time within the premium biscuit category,”​ Vita said.

Livingbridge director Benoit Broch said the investment was a way to grow a strong UK brand. She said: “Thomas J Fudge’s has been on our radar for some time. We fully support their vision to be the UK’s No.1 premium biscuit brand.”

‘Growth ambitions’

“We look forward to working with Paul Vita and Vickie Best and are very excited about helping Thomas J Fudge’s achieve its growth ambitions.”

Previous owner, Steve Fudge said the owners considered carefully to whom they should sell the business. In response to the company leaving family hands, he said: “We have had a remarkable 100 years developing our family business.

“We are thrilled to be passing it onto Livingbridge as guardians of our heritage with exciting plans for growth. After looking for some time to find the right buyer for us and we have found just that.”

TJF’s produced about 6.5 million biscuits a week during 2015 and won the Great Taste Award in 2015 for its Sour Cream & Onion Wafers and Perfect Poppy & Sesame Biscuits.

Thomas J Fudge's

  • Won the great taste award in 2015
  • Produced about 6.5M biscuits in 2015
  • Employed 133 staff at its Stalbridge factory

Related topics: Bakery

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