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LDC backs management buyout of Hill Biscuits

FBR Staff Writer Published 19 April 2017

UK-based Hill Biscuits has completed a management buy-out for an undisclosed sum after investment from private equity company Lloyds Development Capital (LDC).

Hill Biscuits, a 150-year-old biscuit manufacturer, intends to embark on a multi-million-pound capital investment initiative to boost its production capacity.

The company will use the investment to develop new products to tap into the growing demand from existing and new customers.

Hill Biscuits currently has a production capacity of more than 30 million biscuits a week. Its main biscuit products include digestives, ginger nuts, custard creams, gingerbread men, bourbons, and malted milks.

Its buyout was led by the company’s managing director Steven Wetherby. The LDC’s investment, on the other hand, was led by its investment director Simon Braham, Ged Gould and John Clarke.

Wetherby said: “Partnering with LDC will enable us to drive significant investment into the business for the benefit of our customers, adding greater production capacity and innovative new ranges, whilst staying focused on our core offering of quality, value for money products.

“LDC's experience and track record in the sector made them an ideal fit for us. They also quickly understood our ambition for the business and shared our passion for growth.

The investment unlocks a completely new future for the biscuit business having a fantastic history, concluded Wetherby.

Through the transaction, Hill Biscuits will see the exit for the Bennett family that had originally purchased the biscuit business in 1980 out of Rowntree.

For LDC’s North West team, the deal is its third transaction of the year after Fishawack and ChargePoint Technology.

Braham said: “Hill is a classic example of a business with latent potential. The shareholders have built a great business over the years and the current management team has an ambitious vision for forward growth.”

Headquartered in Manchester, Hill Biscuits has annual sales of £20m. It plans to make strategic acquisitions to consolidate further scale and diversity, besides looking to execute a new global sales strategy to speed up its growth in overseas markets.

Image: Biscuit manufacturer, Hill Biscuits sold in management buy-out. Photo: courtesy of khumthong/Freedigitalphotos.net.