Enterprise in the dough with £30m investment

Craft bakery supplier Enterprise Foods has secured a 
£30 million cash injection in a deal backed by private equity firm Hattington Capital.
Tony Moloney, chief executive of Enterprise FoodsTony Moloney, chief executive of Enterprise Foods
Tony Moloney, chief executive of Enterprise Foods

Enterprise Foods, based in East Kilbride, also secured funding from Clydesdale Bank for the transaction, which follows a management buy-out by chief executive Tony Moloney, below, seven years ago.

The firm, which also has operations in Barnsley, Manchester and Kendal, helps more than 450 craft bakers and other small-scale suppliers of products such as milk and speciality beer sell their goods to a network of 137 customers, including Co-operative supermarkets and catering giants Aramark and Compass.

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Moloney said: “This is an exciting time for Enterprise Foods. We have partnered with Hattington Capital and with the help of Clydesdale Bank have secured the investment required for our five-year growth strategy.

“I am very proud of the growth the team at Enterprise have achieved and extremely excited about the journey ahead.”

Enterprise delivered a pre-tax profit of £2.9m in the year to June 2013, on sales of £54.9m. The firm was advised on the deal by the Manchester team at investment bank Altium, comprising managing director Simon Lord, director Chris Hopwood and associate Mark Smith.

Lord said: “Hattington Capital has strong expertise in the retail sector, which will help put the company in touch with a greater number of customers across the UK.”

Clydesdale provided £14m of senior debt for yesterday’s deal, along with £3.5m to support working capital and ongoing growth. The transaction was led by Jane Hartley, director at Clydesdale’s corporate banking team in Manchester.

David Henderson, the lender’s head of corporate banking for the west of Scotland, said: “In recent years, Enterprise Foods has grown to become one of the largest businesses of its kind.

“Its innovative and customer-focused approach is beneficial for both sides – the producer achieves sales and exposure through a trusted partner while the buyer is able to provide a quality product for demanding customers.”

He added: “As we continue to see signs of economic recovery, we remain committed to supporting the growth intentions of entrepreneurial and ambitious businesses such as Enterprise Foods.”

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l Clydesdale has arranged a six-figure finance package to help AJG Parcels, the largest parcel delivery firm in the Highlands, to buy a fleet of 30 vehicles from Hawco’s van centre in Inverness.

AJG, founded in 1992 by Adrian Gray, handled more than two million packages across the Highlands, Islands and Argyll last year. It employs 150 staff, including 90 drivers.

Fraser MacLean, co-owner, said: “Our business continues to go from strength to strength and a large part of that success is due to our understanding of the area and communities we deliver to.”