UK dairy processor secures US investment

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Meadow Foods has secured investment from Paine & Partners
Meadow Foods has secured investment from Paine & Partners

Related tags: Meadow foods, Leveraged buyout

Milk processor Meadow Foods has acquired “strategic” investment from US private equity firm Paine & Partners.

The investment will support Meadow Foods’s strategy to grow the business through organic expansion and acquisition, according to the company.

The amount of investment made by Paine & Partners was not disclosed.

Co-founders the Chantler family will remain a substantial shareholder, however the Pickering family sold their shareholding as part of the deal. There were no plans to change the firm’s executive management.

Meadow Foods executive chairman Simon Chantler said: “This investment represents a new and exciting phase in the continued development of our business.

“It will open new avenues of opportunity for all of our producer partners, customers and employees.”

300M litres of milk

Meadow Foods is one of the UK’s largest dairy processors, with more than 550 producers. So far this year, it has processed over 300M litres of milk.

The company employs more than 275 staff across its three UK factories in Cheshire, Yorkshire and Peterborough.

Paine & Partners ceo Dexter Paine said: “In Meadow Foods, we are making a strategic investment in an industry leader that we believe is poised for continued growth​.

“Meadow Foods’s experienced management team and employees have built a blue-chip customer base with a well-deserved reputation for innovation and reliable delivery of the highest-quality products.

‘Strategic acquisitions’

“We see opportunities to drive growth both organically … and through strategic acquisitions that leverage the company’s supply network and customer relationships.”

Meadow Foods reported a 25% rise in pre-tax profits to £13.7M in its accounts for the year ending March 31 2015, despite a £44M fall in sales to £376M.

“The two most important assets to a business are its people and reputation and Meadow Foods is exceptional in both of these areas,”​ added Paine.

“We are very excited to work with the team to execute its strategy for growth.”

Meanwhile, Paine & Partners focuses on investments in companies in the food and agribusiness sectors, with Meadow Foods being its first UK-based food business investment.

Meadow Foods – at a glance

  • Supplied by over 550 producers
  • Processed over 300M litres of milk this year
  • employs over 275 staff
  • Operates three UK factories in Cheshire, Yorkshire and Cambridgeshire

Related topics: Dairy, Dairy-based ingredients

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