Deal is on the menu for Blackpool sweets firm

Tangerine's former site in Blackpool at Clifton Road
Tangerine's former site in Blackpool at Clifton Road

Blackpool traditional sweets maker Tangerine Confectionery looks set to be getting a new owner following a £100m deal.

Irish group Valeo Foods is said to be about to conclude the deal with private equity firm Blackstone to take over the maker of Sherbet Fountain, Liquorice Allsorts, Blackjacks and Fruit Salad.

Tangerine has five production sites in the UK; in Blackpool at Vicarage Lane, plus Liverpool, York, Pontefract and Cleckheaton.

In July last year, Tangerine sold its popcorn interest Butterkist to KP Snacks for an undisclosed sum.

It had two factories in Blackpool up until March 2014 when it closed its Clifton Road site moving some production and staff to Vicarage Lane.

The Irish deal would see the famous sweets join the likes of Fox’s Glacier Mints and Poppets in Valeo’s portfolio after it bought confectionery business Big Bear from Finnish company Raisio last year.

Valeo is owned by foods tycoon Seamus Fitzpatrick’s CapVest investment group and has a range of food brands across Europe.

Houlihan Lokey, the investment bank, is reported to have been advising Blackstone on the sale.

Blackstone bought Tangerine in 2011.

Tangerine was founded in 2005, when a management team acquired the UK confectionery division of Toms of Denmark to make boiled sweets, marshmallows, gums and jellies and toffees.

Later that year it bought the confectionery division of Burtons Foods and its facilities in Blackpool, which made gums and jellies and Liquorice Allsorts.

Two years later in bought Monkhill Confectionery in Pontefract plus its sites in York and Cleckheaton to strengthen its liquorice expertise and add the popcorn facility.

It was at that time, one of Europe’s biggest sugar confectionery businesses and continues to export to such places as Australia, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. Last month it backed the Pontefract Liquorice Festival in the historical home of liquorice.