Blackstone hopes for sweet deal as Dip Dabs maker Tangerine Confectionery goes on sale

Alys Key
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The British company makes traditional sweets (Source: Getty)

Classic sweeties such as Dip Dabs and Refreshers could come under new ownership as Blackstone lines up an auction process.

The private equity giant is understood to have kicked off a sales process for Tangerine Confectionery. Sky News first reported that bankers had been hired for an auction which could value the company at up to £120m.

The company has a wide portfolio of nostalgic British treats, including Princess marshmallows and Taveners sweets. It has five factories in Blackpool, Liverpool, Pontefract, Cleckheaton and York.

Blackstone declined to comment on the sales process.

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It took control of Tangerine in 2011. The most recent accounts show that sales fell to £139m in 2016, weighing on underlying earnings.

Since then it has also sold off one of its top performers, Butterkist Popcorn, to KP Snacks.

Investment bank Houlihan Lokey will handle the sale of the business. City A.M. understands that the auction is in its early stages.

It comes at a busy time for mergers and acquisitions in the sweets and snacks sector. Just last week Burts Potato Chips acquired Savoury & Sweet.

Last month The Ferrero Group gobbled up Nestle's US confectionery business for $2.8bn (£2bn), while in December last year US chocolate giant Hershey announced it was buying Tyrrells crisps owner Amplify for $1.6bn (£1.1bn).

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