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Calbee UK buys Yorkshire-based Seabrook Crisps

Richard Robinson, Managing Director of Calbee UK. Photo: Ginger Pixie
Richard Robinson, Managing Director of Calbee UK. Photo: Ginger Pixie
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Calbee (UK) Ltd and the shareholders of Seabrook Crisps Ltd have reached agreement for Calbee UK to acquire Seabrook for an undisclosed sum.

Calbee UK is the subsidiary of Japan-based $2.3bn, global snack company, Calbee Inc.

Its 80 UK employees operate from its factory in North Wales and a commercial office in Leeds. Seabrook, which employs around 160 people, will continue to operate from its Bradford base, led by chief executive Jonathan Bye.

Richard Robinson, Managing Director of Calbee UK, said, “We are hugely excited by the obvious fit that Seabrook represents for us in bringing the mainstream snack of potato-based crisps into our product portfolio.”

“Bringing together Calbee UK, which boldly strives to disrupt the UK snacking category through exciting innovation, with the strength of the iconic, dynamic, challenger Seabrook brand, is a powerful move to leverage our combined strengths, accelerate our growth and increase our market penetration.”

Mr Robinson added, “Seabrook is a company with a great history, tradition and numerous first to market initiatives and serves as a perfect complement to the ambitious, young business that is Calbee UK. We are firm believers in the power of iconic brands, and we aim to leverage these strengths for further expansion.

“This strong alliance will provide mutual benefit and long-term success for both companies and their colleagues.”

The deal marks an exit for mid-market private equity investor LDC, which first backed the management buyout of the crisp company in 2015.

Over the past three years, LDC has supported the growth of the business through new product development, investment in its manufacturing facilities and by pursuing international sales opportunities.

Jonathan Bye, Chief Executive of Seabrook added: “This development will enable us to build upon these successes. It’s an exciting time for our people, customers and suppliers as we embark on the next phase of our growth journey. We have ambitious plans and are looking forward to delivering these as part of the Calbee family. There are certainly exciting times ahead.”

Calbee UK were advised by Spayne Lindsay & Co on corporate matters, KPMG on financial matters and Walker Morris LLP on legal matters.

LDC and Seabrook management were advised by Houlihan Lokey on corporate matters and Addleshaw Goddard LLP on legal matters.