BRADFORD-BASED Seabrook Crisps has been sold to Lloyds Bank for £35m in a management buyout, after the family-owned manufacturer returned to growth with a post-tax profit of £1.3m last year.
Seabrook, which employs 150 staff and produces 20m crisp packets per year, has been bought by its senior management and Lloyds’ buyout branch LDC.
LDC say the business has “consistently outperformed” the £1.1bn UK crisp market, increasing its retail sales value year-on-year by 12 per cent.
LDC director Ged Gould said that Seabrook’s enthusiasm for the bank’s purchase shows a trend for companies in the North seeking expertise from London firms. He said: “If the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ is to reach its full potential, private equity will have to play a central role in supporting the ambitions of its business community.”
Seabrook chief Jonathan Bye said: “As the main challenger brand in the category we wanted to keep momentum and the same culture and expertise that helped deliver our growth so far.”
The deal comes after LDC’s recent announcement to invest £1.2bn in the UK’s mid-sized companies. LDC will take up two seats on Seabrook’s board, and a chairman will soon be appointed.