Published January 18, 2006

GCP backs MBI of Toms Confectionery Ltd

Close Brothers Growth Capital Ltd (“CBGC”), a provider of combined equity and debt funding, announces that it is backing the management buy-in (MBI) of Toms Confectionery Ltd (“TCL”), from Toms Gruppen of Denmark. TCL is headquartered in Blackpool and has facilities in Liverpool and Poole. It is the UK’s largest independent private label sugar confectionery manufacturer and in addition owns a number of its own brands, including the leading marshmallow brand, Princess.  The company is also the sole UK distributor of the Anthon Berg range of chocolate liqueurs and OZONE mints.

The MBI team is being led by Steven Joseph and Chris Marshall, both successful entrepreneurs with considerable experience in the food industry; two of the existing directors, Neil Boddington (Operations) and Andrew Langan (Sales) will remain with the business. Natalie Eastham, who led the transaction for CBGC, will also join the board.

The deal is funded by way of a unique form of single-source financing from CBGC, comprising equity and debt.  The management are also providing equity. HBOS will provide working capital facilities for the business.

TCL manufactures “own-label” sugar confectionery for all of the major UK supermarkets, wholesalers and cash and carry outlets, and has a wide distribution throughout the UK confectionery trade. Its broad portfolio of sugar confectionery includes marshmallows, wine gums, jelly babies, toffees, fruit drops and mints. It has a number of its own brands in sugar confectionery including Princess Marshmallows, Taveners, Mojo, and Parrs.

TCL employs around 450 people and has turnover of over £40 million.

Natalie Eastham at CBGC commented: 

“TCL has all the right ingredients: a first-class management team with a long history in the food industry, and strong relationships with the UK’s leading confectionery retailers.   We believe the business is now well-positioned to achieve further growth and expansion.”

Steven Joseph said: 

“CBGC have provided a funding package that is attractive and meets our needs.  We are tremendously excited about the prospects for the business and we look forward to working with CBGC to build on Toms’ success to date.”