Portfolio News

International growth for LDC investments in the food & beverage sector

In addition to supplying their own domestic market, businesses are increasingly looking to foreign shores to increase revenue and scale.

LDC has a strong track record of supporting management teams to deliver ambitious international growth strategies, and recently two LDC portfolio companies in the food & beverage sector have started to deliver international growth.

Ministry of Cake, the 150-year-old Somerset-based cake and dessert maker, has reported growth in its first full-year results following a management buyout backed by LDC in 2014.

The company now sells more than three million cakes every week. Sales are expected to top £30m in the current financial year, up 10% from last year, thanks to contract wins, product development and rising export sales.

Finance Director Jeremy French said "Our growth is underpinned by continued new product development across our range, but we are also starting to build real scale in our export business."

"We now send cakes from Taunton to Europe and beyond, with ongoing discussions as far away as China and Australia. I estimate 20 per cent of Ministry sales will come from outside the UK within the next three years.

Seabrook Crisps, the iconic Yorkshire crisp brand, has just signed its first international deal since LDC backed the £35m management buyout last year.

The business will supply its premium Lattice crisps to Gulf supermarket chain Lulu Hypermarket which has stores across the Middle East and India. The first shipment to Qatar will hit shelves in the next few weeks.

The business now plans to ramp up its export operations following the deal and also has its eye on other international markets.

Kevin Butterworth, Marketing and International Sales Director said “I’d like to think that within three years international trade will account for around ten per cent of our total turnover.”

Article Footnotes

Notes to Editors

  1. LDC is part of the Lloyds Banking Group and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  2. LDC back ambitious management teams from UK-based companies seeking between £2m and £100m of equity for management buy-outs, institutional buy-outs or development capital transactions.
  3. LDC invests in a broad range of sectors and has particular experience in Construction & Property, Financial Services, Healthcare, Industrials, Retail & Consumer, TMT, Travel & Leisure and Support Services.
  4. LDC has a UK regional network of 9 offices.