Endless sells Phoenix Foods to Speciality Powders

Endless LLP has sold Phoenix Foods, based in Corby, Northamptonshire, to Speciality Powders Holdings Limited (SPHL) of Knaresborough in a multimillion pound deal. SPHL, which processes dry powder food products and ingredients, acquired Phoenix Foods in an all cash transaction for an undisclosed sum.

Endless was advised by Squire Sanders (Jonathan Jones, Paul Mann and Guy Hunter) and BDO (Tim Clarke). Speciality Powders was advised by Sterling Corporate Finance (Andy Rose and Lyndsey Shaw) and Schofield Sweeney (Chris Schofield and Adrian Ballam). Funding for the deal was provided by Centric Commercial Finance.

Based in Knaresborough North Yorkshire, with operations in Kent and The Netherlands, SPHL is a privately owned company managed by its main shareholders. The business is the holding company for three manufacturing companies that provide powder processing and production services to household name clients throughout Europe.

SPHL managing director and majority shareholder, Mike Kirby, said: “This acquisition is part of our strategic growth plan and Phoenix Foods has a reputation for producing quality and innovative products that very much complement our own offering.”

Phoenix Foods manufactures a range of powdered drinks and foods from its factory in Corby, Northampton and currently has 100 employees. The company has enjoyed a strong period of growth over recent years under the leadership of David Manning and Andrew Ducker, who have co-invested on four deals with Endless.

Darren Forshaw, co-founder of Endless, said: “Phoenix Foods was one of the oldest investments in our portfolio and one of the last investments in our first fund. We have been delighted with the company’s performance under the stewardship of David Manning and Andrew Ducker, with the business growing consistently throughout the recession, demonstrating its strength and resilience. There is a powerful strategic fit with Speciality Powders and the combined business is well positioned for future success.”

The deal will enable Speciality Powders to grow the business into new markets and to provide additional services such as packing to existing customers.

Andrew Rose, Partner at Sterling Corporate Finance, said: “The two businesses are a natural fit, offering similar services and the deal will consolidate Speciality Powder’s position as one of the county’s largest food processing businesses. Even at a time of restricted lending, this deal shows our ability to secure funding for ambitious Yorkshire businesses.”