Bramble Foods secures private equity cash

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Bramble's in-house manufacturing division makes preserves, chutneys, sauces and cakes
Bramble's in-house manufacturing division makes preserves, chutneys, sauces and cakes

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Private equity firm LDC has made a minority investment in fine foods manufacturer and distributor Bramble Foods 'to support its organic and acquisitive growth strategy'.

LDC said the partnership would enable Bramble's management team to invest in its product portfolio and in-house manufacturing capabilities and support acquisitions to accelerate this strategy. 

Headquartered in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, Bramble makes and supplies more than 2,000 products, ranging from preserves, pickles, chutneys and sauces, to cakes, biscuits, confectionery, hampers and seasonal goods. Products are sourced from established external suppliers and an in-house manufacturing division, which produces preserves, chutneys, sauces and cakes. 

Founded in 2008, the family-run business has an extensive portfolio of 1,400 customers and supplies to a national base of independent, local retailers, and garden centres, farm shops and holiday parks.

In its latest full-year results for the year to 31 December 2020, Bramble recorded healthy pre-tax profit of £1.7m, up 88% on the previous year. Turnover rose 9.1%, from £11.8m to £12.8m.

Backing existing management team

LDC is backing the existing management team, led by founder and chief executive officer Tony Foster, alongside finance director Chris Neville and sales director Ken Osborne.

As part of the transaction, co-founder Nigel Foster will retire to pursue other interests. Under their leadership, the business has delivered strong year-on-year growth. 

The investment was led by Rob Schofield, partner in LDC’s Midlands team alongside investment director Phil Hinson. A team from Orbis Partners, led by partner Gary Ecob and director Steve Nock, acted as lead advisors to Bramble.

'Increased food production capabilities'

Tony Foster, CEO at Bramble Foods, commented: “Year on year we have increased our food production capabilities and invested in our personalisation service to offer unique bespoke products to our customers. LDC is the leading private equity firm in our region and we know our partnership with the team will help us to continue to grow our business into the future.” 

LDC has a track record of successful partnerships in the Midlands. It previously backed Tom Joules, founder of Market Harborough-based premium lifestyle brand Joules over three years as he built the business to its initial public offering.

The firm was also recently invested in Northampton-based Panther Logistics where Colin McCarthy and his management team created more than 300 new jobs, doubled sales to more than £60m and tripled profits during our partnership. 

Beth Mather at Gateley provided legal advice to LDC, with financial diligence provided by Ed Gray at Cooper Parry and commercial diligence provided by Michael Gell at Hullbrook. Dan Shilvock at Shoosmiths provided legal advice to Bramble.

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