Lincolnshire’s Freshtime acquired in £56m deal

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Greencore Group plc, a manufacturer of convenience foods in the UK, has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Freshtime UK Limited.

Freshtime is a well-established Lincolnshire supplier of food to go salads, chilled snacks and prepared produce in the UK.

Its products are distributed primarily in the grocery and convenience channels and the business operates from a single facility in Boston, Lincolnshire.

In the 12 months ended 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.

The acquired business will extend Greencore’s presence in food to go salads and chilled snacking and Freshtime’s strong customer base is highly complementary to the Group’s existing portfolio.

Freshtime’s production facility is well invested, with an established local supply chain and capacity for future growth. The Group already distributes a large proportion of Freshtime’s products through its Direct to Store network, reflected as revenue from the distribution of third party products.

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.

This will be funded from existing debt facilities and the Group expects to remain within its medium term leverage range following the acquisition.

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.

Commenting on the transaction, 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.”