Growth Capital Partners exits sweetly with Tangerine sale

Private equity investor Growth Capital Partners has exited fast-growing business Tangerine, selling its 40 per cent stake in the confectionery manufacturer to global investment and advisory firm Blackstone Group.

The firm, which specialises in UK small and medium-sized enterprises, invested in the business in 2006 by backing the £10 million management buy-in (MBI) of Toms Confectionery, which later re-branded as Tangerine. The sale amount has not been disclosed.

Headquartered in Blackpool, Tangerine is the largest independent manufacturer of sugar confectionery and popcorn in the UK. It owns brands including Butterkist popcorn, Barratt Sherbet Fountain and Dip Dabs, Henry Goode’s soft eating liquorice and Princess Marshmallows.

According to a statement from Growth Capital, the sale earned the firm a four-times return for its five-year investment. The deal also marks the fourth realisation and second exit of the year for GCP’s Fund II. The firm closed its third fund GCP III in May this year after raising £160 million, which was £10 million more than targeted.

Led by managing director Chris Marshall, the management team bought Toms of Denmark and its three facilities in Blackpool, Liverpool and Poole, which manufactured boiled sweets, marshmallows, gums and jellies and toffees in 2006.

It has then pursued expansion through acquisitions, later that year buying the confectionery division of Burtons Foods and its production plants in Blackpool, which made gums and jellies and Liquorice Allsorts. A year later, the business purchased Monkhill Confectionery from Cadbury, which added popcorn to the business’s product line.

Since the buy-out, Tangerine has quadrupled in size, increasing its turnover from £40 million to £160 million and headcount to 1,500.

Growth Capital partner Garrett Curran comments, ‘In just five years Tangerine has enjoyed stunning growth. It has quadrupled in size and consolidated its position as the UK’s largest independent private label  sugar confectionery manufacturer, increasing the range of brands that it owns and the number of food retailers for whom it manufactures own brand products.’

Tangerine chairman Steven Joseph adds, ‘We are looking forward to working with The Blackstone Group who will help us to take the business to the next level of growth.’

Todd Cardy

Adelbert Swaniawski

Todd was Editor of between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital. Connect with...

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