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Calbee buys UK potato chip manufacturer Seabrook Crisps

Calbee buys UK potato chip manufacturer Seabrook Crisps

Over the past three years, UK potato chip manufacturer Seabrook Crisps has continued to invest in its manufacturing infrastructure, has launched a number of new products and expanded internationally.

October 5, 2018
When UK potato chips manufacturer Seabrook Crisps was acquired by its current management in July 2015, private equity investor LDC backed the management buy-out to support Seabrook's growth. Over the past three years, Seabrook has continued to invest in its manufacturing infrastructure, has launched a number of new products and expanded internationally. Now LDC, a subsidiary of the Lloyds Banking Group, has completed the sale of the Yorkshire crisp brand, to leading snack brand Calbee (UK) Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

The deal sees Seabrook join Calbee UK, a subsidiary of global snack company, Calbee Inc, which already boasts Yushoi, Rustiks and Harvest Snaps among its portfolio.

Seabrook will operate as a standalone company, with Jonathan Bye, Daniel Woodwards and Jon Wood continuing in their current roles.

Seabrook produces a range of crinkle cut, straight cut and lattice crisps, as well as low-calorie snacks, from its headquarters in Bradford.

Today it produces more than 250 million bags of chips a year, which are enjoyed by consumers worldwide having successfully entered new markets including the United Arab Emirates, China, France, Spain and Australia.

(Click to enlarge)

Richard Robinson, MD of Calbee UK (left) and Jonathan Bye, Chief Executive of Seabrook (right) signing the deal.

The business employs 160 people at its Yorkshire HQ and for the financial year ending March 2018 recorded revenues of GBP29.8 million and profit (EBITDA) of GBP5 million, up 9 per cent and 28 per cent respectively during LDC’s tenure.

Jonathan Bye, Chief Executive of Seabrook:

“On behalf of the management team and everyone at Seabrook, I’d like to thank LDC for its commitment and support.”

“Since LDC invested in our business in July 2015 the team has gone above and beyond, partnering with us to invest in our facilities and prime the business for future growth.”

“The team invested more than GBP5m into our site in Bradford and we now have excellent operational facilities that allow us to continue to produce great crisps.”

“It’s only with their support that we have been able to outperform the crisp category with the Seabrook brand, won significant new private-label business and expanded overseas.”
The transaction was led by investment director Simon Braham and senior director Ged Gould at LDC in Manchester.

Ged Gould:

“In the three years we’ve backed Seabrook, the business has invested heavily in its manufacturing facilities and successfully entered new international markets.”

“Seabrook is an iconic Northern brand and the team has capitalised on the increased demand for ‘made in the UK’ products, successfully taking their crisps to new fans worldwide.”

“Jonathan and his team are hugely ambitious and becoming part of the Calbee UK family creates a number of new growth opportunities for Seabrook moving forward.”

“We wish the team every success on the next phase of their journey.”
Richard Robinson, MD of Calbee UK:

“This is an exciting development which will allow us to combine and further leverage the skills and brands of two ambitious players in the UK savoury snack market – building an even more dynamic, innovative and effective snack business going forward. We firmly believe it will prove to be good news for both business and the UK snack industry as a whole.”

“This acquisition is good news for Calbee UK’s business aspirations and has been designed not for cost savings but to generate growth. Whilst wholly owned by Calbee UK, Seabrook will run separately as a business, sharing their expertise with Calbee and ours with them. Calbee intends to take time to properly understand the Seabrook business following the transfer of ownership of the business.”

“Seabrook is a dynamic company with a great history, tradition and first to market initiatives and so serves as a perfect complement to the young, ambitious new business that is Calbee UK.”

“Bringing them together is a powerful move to help further accelerate and expand Calbee UK’s position both in the UK and in Europe, which remains a key strategic priority for our business.”
Companies in this Article
Calbee Foods Co. is Japan's largest potato processing company, producer of (potato) snacks
Seabrook Crisps is a potato chips manufacturer in the United Kingdom
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