Boston

Food manufacturer acquires Lincolnshire Freshtime in £56m deal

A leading manufacturer of convenience food in the UK has completed the £56 million acquisition of a privately owned Lincolnshire food firm.

Greencore Group plc has acquired Freshtime UK Limited, a company supplying major retailers with prepared vegetables. The group already distributes a large proportion of Freshtime’s products through its Direct to Store network.

Freshtime UK Limited, which employs around 350 staff, has invested over £14 million in its purpose built site on Marsh Lane in Boston since being founded in 2000.

The acquired business will extend Greencore’s presence in food to go salads and chilled snacking. Greencore has acquired the whole of the issued share capital of The Bay Group Limited, parent company of Freshtime UK Limited, from Mr John Curran Mills Richmond.

The Group expects to remain within its medium term leverage range following the acquisition.

Total consideration for the acquisition comprises an enterprise value of £56 million, cash on the acquired balance sheet and a normalised level of working capital. It will be funded from existing debt facilities.

Patrick Coveney, CEO of Greencore, said: “Freshtime is an excellent strategic fit for Greencore. It is a business and a customer set that we know very well and it provides us with an exciting opportunity to enhance our product offering, add further capacity to our manufacturing network, and help drive growth and value for shareholders. We look forward very much to welcoming the Freshtime team to Greencore.”

In the 12 months ending December 2018, Freshtime generated revenues of £66 million and profit before tax of £5.6 million. Gross assets at December 31, 2018 were £22 million.


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