Food Manufacture understands that the deal includes all Wrights' assets and that the existing management team will remain in place.
The move is the latest in a flurry of acquisitions in the food sector. Just this week O'Brien Fine Foods announced an agreement to acquire Bearfields of London and Sykes Seafood agreed the acquisition of Ruskim Seafood a week before that.
Wrights was founded by John Wright in 1926 as a local family-owned pie business. Under the leadership of chairman and chief executive officer Peter Wright, it supplies products ranging from pies, pasties and quiches to artisan bread, cakes and desserts to foodservice and retail customers across the UK. Peter is John's grandson.
Wrights' other activities
In terms of other activities, Wrights also operates a chain of branded bakery stores in the north west of England and operates in vending and has a substantial export business.
The Compleat Food Group was formed through the merger of Addo Food Group and Winterbotham Darby in January 2021. The two companies were acquired by private equity firm PAI Partners in November 2020. PAI has a strong track-record of boosting the potential of food businesses. It invested in United Biscuits in 1999 and R&R Ice Cream (UK), which is now known as Froneri UK.
Oghma Partners, which acted as the exclusive financial advisor on the deal, said the acquisition of Wrights, a specialist in frozen foods, complemented The Compleat Food Group’s existing chilled portfolio.It significantly expanded its customer base and provided it with much greater penetration into the UK’s foodservice markets, Oghma said.
'Build on legacy of Wrights family'
“It was important to Peter to pass the ownership of his business to a purchaser that would build on the legacy which the Wrights family worked so hard to create," Mark Lynch, partner at Oghma Partners, said.
Wrights, which employs more than 600 staff claims to have spent more than £40m pounds over the past 20 years on its manufacturing facilities and distribution centre.
In April this year, Wrights announced the appointments of Paul Strangwood as health & safety and environmental compliance manager and Lee Crank as head of purchasing. That followed the announcement that former Délifrance chief executive Ian Dobbie had been appointed as its new managing director.