Hermes Private Equity buys food brands(2)

The UK mid-market firm has acquired the manufacturer of TV celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott's branded food products installing a new management team to grow the business.

Hermes Private Equity has acquired Symington’s, a UK food manufacturing company, in an buy-in with David Salkeld and Henrik Nygaard Pade.

Salkeld and Pade become chief executive and marketing director respectively, joining current members of the management team. Salkeld is the former CEO of Arla Foods and Grampian County Foods and Pade was business development director also at Arla Foods.

The current owners, Andrew Micklethwaite and Tim Robertshaw will leave the business to pursue other interests outside the food sector.

Symington’s has a number of brands including Ainsley Harriott, Mugshots and Symington’s itself. These brands, together with a number of retail own label, focus on the ambient foods sector which consists of instant soup, rice, dried pasta, cous cous and hot snacks among others.

Symington’s has been successful in increasing its brands’ market shares in the major retail multiples in the UK in recent years. It plans to build on that foundation.

The price was not disclosed.  Hermes was advised by Linklaters; the buy-in team by PricewaterhouseCoopers and its legal advisors, Addleshaw Goddard, and vendors by Spayne Lindsay. Yorkshire Bank provided the debt facilities.