LDC supports buyout of leading cake and dessert manufacturer Ministry of Cake

LDC has completed an investment to support the multi-million pound management buyout of Ministry of Cake (“the business”) from listed food producer Greencore plc.

Headquartered in Taunton in Somerset, Ministry of Cake is a leading manufacturer of own-label cakes and gateaux, primarily for the foodservice market. The business is the UK’s market leader in the production of chocolate fudge cake and has a diverse product range that includes some of the most popular desserts found on pub and restaurant menus across the UK.

Ministry of Cake produces more than two million slices of cake every week for its growing customer base that includes some of the leading names in the foodservice, catering and wholesale industries, such as Brake Brothers, 3663, Cafe Nero, Pizza Hut, Hard Rock Café, Makro and Booker.

Originally established in Yeovil in 1865 by legendary sweet entrepreneur William Tanner Maynard, Ministry of Cake was acquired by Ireland-headquartered convenience food producer Greencore plc in 2007.

Having reported significant revenue growth in recent years, Ministry of Cake has an annual turnover of £25million and employs more than 250 people in Taunton.

LDC has backed Ministry of Cakes’ experienced senior management team, which is led by Chief Executive Chris Ormrod. LDC’s investment strategy will be to partner with this high calibre team to deliver continued organic growth across all channels of the business, whilst also helping to identify and support relevant strategic acquisition opportunities.

The deal was led by Investment Director Alistair Pendleton, supported by Pete Latham. Both will join the board as Non-Executive Directors with immediate effect.

Alistair Pendleton, Investment Director and Head of LDC’s Bristol office said: “Ministry of Cake is a long-established market-leading business that is being driven by consistent demand for high-quality cakes and desserts by consumers in pubs and restaurants right across the UK.

“We are partnering with a high-quality management team led by Chris Ormrod, who has considerable knowledge and experience in the food services market having enjoyed a long career in the food industry. The business provides a highly efficient service to its customer base, and is supported by a well-invested infrastructure at its operations in Somerset. Going forward, we will work closely with the team to execute the next phase of the business’ growth and development.”

Commenting on LDC’s investment, Chris Ormrod, Chief Executive of Ministry of Cake said: “LDC’s investment brings additional strategic input and financial backing to our business and will help us to delive rambitious growth plans. As well as increasing the pace of organic growth and building on our position within our core UK market, we are keen to pursue appropriate acquisition opportunities here in the UK and in related product areas.” 

The transaction was completed with support from a number of regional advisers including Bristol-based Momentum Corporate Finance who acted as lead adviser. Osborne Clarke acted as legal adviser to LDC and Newco, while Burges Salmon were legal advisers to Management. KPMG provided financial due diligence. Banking facilities were provided by HSBC in Bristol who provided a package of senior debt.

The deal with Ministry of Food forms part of LDC’s continuing strategy of investing in leading mid-market businesses, backing high calibre ambitious management teams.

Notes to Editors

  1. LDC is the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  
  2. LDC backs ambitious management teams from UK-based medium sized companies seeking up to £100m of investment to fund management buyouts or development capital transactions.
  3. LDC invests in a broad range of sectors and has particular experience in Healthcare, Industrials, Retail & Consumer, TMT, Travel & Leisure, Support Services, Construction & Property and Financial Services.
  4. LDC has a UK regional network with locations in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Reading.