TANGERINE Confectionery has a new owner after American buyout giant Blackstone took a majority stake in the firm – for a fee believed to be in the region of £120m.
The deal follows the end of a lucrative five-year partnership between the firm and private equity firm Growth Capital Partners.
The firm made a stellar return on its investment and bosses at Tangerine, which operates two sites in Blackpool and six others across the country, have pledged to work with their new partner to further expand the firm.
Tangerine’s managing director Chris Marshall said: ““We’ve expanded a lot and grown fairly fast in the past five and a half years.
“We’ve done that because we are acquisitional in nature
“I’m expecting Tangerine to grow even further with opportunities both in the UK and in Europe.
“We didn’t want investors who would come in and strip out the business and run things down.
“We want out investors to allow the company grow naturally
“And we want them to invest inwards as well to make sure we survive in a highly-competitive marketplace.”
The new backing creates a platform for the Blackpool-based business to further consolidate its position in a market hit hard by soaring commodity inflation.
Tangerine has been able to pass on the rising cost of raw materials to the big retailers because of the strength of its brands, including Butterkist, Sherbet Dib Dabs and Fountains.
There are between six to 12 smaller players in the confectionary sector who have been less able to pass on their costs.
These firms may well find themselves in Tangerine’s sights in the near future.
The group bought Monkhill from Cadbury in 2008 and has focused on increasing efficiency within operations, while maintaining investment in new product development.
The Tangerine group has quadrupled in size through its acquisitions, and owns brands including Butterkist, Barratt, Anthon Berg and Lion.
Mr Marshall added: “The success of our firm is down to the people we employ – not one individual. “The people we have here are a real asset.”