Blackburn food business acquisition creates £140M turnover company

Blackburn-based Bright Blue Foods, backed by private equity firm Endless, has agreed to acquire the cakes and desserts facility in Hull from Greencore, creating a £140m turnover business with more than 2,000 staff.

BBF was acquired in September 2015 by Endless through its fourth fund. Completion of the deal, for which the sum has not been disclosed, is expected in early February 2018 following a TUPE consultation process with Greencore Hull employees.

North West Food & Drink Means Business understands that the Hull site will trade under the name of BBF (Hull) Ltd. The combined business employ over 2000 people across five sites and will be led by Jonathan Lill as CEO, supported by the BBF board of directors.

Jonathan Lill, CEO of Bright Blue Foods, said of the deal: “This is a really exciting time for our company, our people and our customers. The product range and customer base from both businesses are very complementary. BBF is entirely focussed on the bakery sector and this acquisition will be transformational for our business. We are committed to continue to invest in the category and deliver great quality, service and innovation to our customers.”

Richard Harrison, Investment Director at Endless, said: “We have assembled an outstanding management team at BBF, led by Jonathan. This acquisition will double the size of BBF and will enable the business to maximise opportunities in this category through its enhanced product offering and scale.

“We are delighted to support BBF with this deal, which once again showcases our expertise in acquiring non-core assets from large corporates and is a great way to start 2018.”

The Endless deal team was led by James Woolley and Richard Harrison, and supported by Lee Abbott.

BBF and Endless were advised by Addleshaw Goddard (Duncan Wilson, Katie Parker, Dominic McLean and Rebekah Fisher), Forbes Solicitors (Emma Swan) and the tax team at KPMG (Steven Heath and Nilesh Patel).

Management were advised by Bond Dickinson (Simon Pilling and James Cook).

The sellers were advised by Eversheds Sutherland (Amanda Partland and Jonathan Wharam) and Stamford Partners (Rob Iseman and Michael Bunting).