Tayto Group said the deal was key to its strategic development, and would help to bring its products to a wider audience. Tayto Group – owner of the Golden Wonder, Mr Porky, Real Crisps and Tayto brands – confirmed the deal on April 4.
Montagu Group chief executive Paul Allen said: “The acquisition of Freedom Refreshments is a key facet of our strategic development programme. While we have a strong share of the vending market in Northern Ireland, we only had limited reach into Great Britain, and this deal will enable us to increase our presence significantly within this sector.
‘Bring our products to a wider audience’
“There are several synergies between Tayto Group and Freedom Refreshments and this acquisition will help us to bring our products to a wider audience. Freedom Refreshments turns over around £16M a year, and is an established provider of hot and cold drinks and snacks across many sectors, including healthcare, workplace, education and retail.”
Tayto will now have access to almost 7,000 vending machines across England, as the acquisition included Freedom Refreshment’s subsidiaries LTT Vending, eXpresso Plus and Nivo. The vending machines will hold Tayto Group products, Freedom Refreshments confirmed.
Freedom Refreshments’ new ceo Mark Stone said: “The vending machines will carry Tayto Group products, where appropriate, but their contents will be driven by consumer demand and will also include an extensive range of hot and cold drinks, as well as confectionery.”
Freedom Refreshments is a family-run business, employing about 160 people. It said the acquisition was an “excellent opportunity for [our] employees to enjoy a secure future, in a positive workplace as the company continues to grow”.
25M bags of snacks and crisps a week
Tayto Group currently employs more than 1,500 people across its operations. The Northern Ireland-based manufacturer produces more than 25M bags of snacks and crisps each week, across its six operations in Tandragee, Corby, Scunthorpe, Westhoughton, Wolverhampton and Devon. It also exports to 43 countries, across five continents.
“Within the last 12 years, Tayto Group has grown exponentially, increasing turnover from £19M a year to around £180M. The new acquisitions will pave the way for further expedited growth,” said Allen.
Meanwhile, Tayto Group bought a 75% stake in popcorn manufacturer Portlebay in February. It also revealed the acquisition of roasted nuts and pork scratchings maker Tavern Snacks at the same time.
Tayto acquisition – at a glance
- Tayto Group’s affiliate company Montagu group buys Freedom Refreshments
- Multi-million pound deal
- Tayto Group products to feature in 7,000 more vending machines across England