Endless acquires Bright Blue Foods

Endless LLP completed its 10th investment of 2015 today, with the acquisition of Bright Blue Foods Limited (“Bright Blue”) for an undisclosed value.  Headquartered at its two bakeries in Blackburn, Bright Blue also operates from Bradford and Poland and employs more than 700 permanent staff.  With sales expected to exceed £70 million this year, Bright Blue is a significant player in the private label and ambient cake market in the UK, manufacturing a wide range of bakery products including mince pies, celebration cakes, swiss rolls and cake bars.

In addition to providing high quality private label cakes for Tesco, M&S, ASDA, Aldi and Morrisons, Bright Blue has developed a strong and growing branded business with Aunt Bessie and Mars. Bright Blue is also one of the largest manufacturers of mince pies and Christmas cake in the UK.

Di Walker, who works with Endless at Karro Food Group, joins the Board as Non-Executive Director.  Steve Crossley, who joined Bright Blue in October 2014, will continue to lead the business as Chief Executive Officer.  NBGI will continue to back Bright Blue as a co-investor alongside Endless, having led the original management buyout from McCambridge Group nearly three years ago.

In December 2014, Endless announced it had raised a new fund of £525 million to invest in buyouts, non-core acquisitions from larger groups and refinancings.  The fund is supported by a range of global investors, including some of the best known universities and the family offices of some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world.  Endless has invested more than £150 million in UK businesses in the year to date, including recent investments in the management buyouts of High Street TV, Essential Fleet Services and Imtech UK.

Steve Crossley commented: “We have a strong, well invested business with real competitive advantages and we are delighted that Endless is keen to back our growth plan.  Our recent bakery rationalisation in the UK and expansion in Poland gives us an opportunity to provide our customers with a compelling proposition and we have high aspirations for the future.  This is an exciting time for everyone at Bright Blue Foods and we intend to take full advantage of the support provided by our new investors.”

Mathew Deering, Partner at Endless, commented: “We are delighted to have the chance to back Bright Blue and support Steve and the team’s ambitions to take a long established North West business forward.   We are also delighted to welcome Di Walker to the Board to complement the existing team.  Bright Blue has a high quality reputation for its product quality and range of capabilities and we are excited about the plans to enhance this further.”

The Endless deal team was led by Mathew Deering, Richard Harrison and Adam Keasey.  Endless was advised by Addleshaw Goddard (Andrew Smith, Richard Chere and Tim Taylor).  Bright Blue Foods and its management team were advised by Squire Patton Boggs and Pinsent Masons respectively.