Investor cashes in on Meadow Foods growth

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Meadow Foods makes a range of dairy products for foodservice customers as well as dairy ingredients
Meadow Foods makes a range of dairy products for foodservice customers as well as dairy ingredients
Sales growth at Meadow Foods has led to finance group Exponent investing in the dairy processor in a deal that entails buying key investor Paine Schwartz’s full shareholding.

According to the dairy processor, the Chantler family have remained substantial shareholders in the business after the share deal, although the exact stakeholder split has not been shared.

The existing management team, under the chairmanship of Simon Chantler and chief executive officer Mark Chantler, would retain responsibility for the business’ growth and direction, it said.

“Meadow Foods has matured as a business significantly in recent years and we believe the business is extremely well-placed for continued growth,”​ said Exponent partner Oliver Bower. “The core fundamentals of a strong management team, good customer relationships and a strong producer base make the business the success it is.”

‘Stronger than ever’

Dexter Paine, chairman and a founding partner of Paine Schwartz Partners, said: “The team at Meadow Foods has delivered the key strategic objectives we set out to achieve when we invested in 2016 and the company is now stronger than ever.”

In order to help finance its acquisition strategy, Meadow Foods wooed Paine Schwartz, which decided to invest in the business in September 2016.

Since Paine Schwartz’s investment, Meadow Foods said it had achieved key parts of its strategic growth plan through the acquisition of Roil Foods in 2018​ and Fayrefield Liquid – Fayrefield Foods’ milk business – in 2017.

The company has pumped cash into its product ranges and capabilities, such as soft cheese, yoghurt and custard. It is currently investing £3m to increase capacity and efficiency at its factory in Peterborough. It has also secured planning permission to develop another 5,300m2​ of processing and storage space at its factory in Chester.

Further growth

After Paine Schwartz invested in the business, Meadow Foods’ turnover increased from £228m in 2016 to £271m in 2017 (+19%). Profits increased by 6% from £9.6m to £10.2. The company expects further significant growth in 2018.

Exponent is an investment firm that specialises in UK businesses with a long track record of delivering growth. It has drawn on a £1bn fund to clinch the deal.

Meadow Foods makes a range of dairy ingredients for further processing and supplies finished dairy products to foodservice customers under its Green Valley Dairy brand.

Related topics Dairy Dairy-based ingredients

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