Karro refinancing for growth

Karro Food Group, one of the leading suppliers of British pork into the retail and foodservice industries, has secured a new £60 million funding package from GE Capital just six months after private equity firm Endless LLP’s acquisition of the business from Vion.

The business is involved in all stages of pork production, from farming through to slaughter, butchery and processing. It is one of the key suppliers of pork in Britain and is proud to provide high quality cuts of meat, gammon and bacon into leading retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury, Coop and Aldi.

Since its buyout, the business has undertaken a major program of reorganisation, which has seen it accelerate its return to profitability by strengthening the management team, improving efficiencies across its operations and continuing to win new sales volume despite the tough economic climate.

The new funding will underpin Karro’s growth strategy, providing the management team with immediate access to additional working capital and greater capacity to invest in the business alongside the existing equity support from Endless.

Chief Executive of Karro Food, Seamus Carr, said: “The GE facility is excellent news for our employees, our farmers and our customers.  From a very strong asset base and a stable financial platform, the new GE facility will give us the fire power to invest further in the business, react more rapidly to opportunities and grow our market share, not only here in the UK but also overseas.  

We remain on a drive for continued improvement by bearing down on costs and by working more closely with our farmers to drive value and quality all the way through the supply chain.  At the same time, we are focusing on the needs of our customers, adopting a more flexible and entrepreneurial culture and investing in our product offering to build upon our strong market position.”

Aidan Robson, Investment Director at Endless LLP commented: “We are delighted to bring GE Capital into our partnership with Karro. The refinancing is a fantastic endorsement of the company and the outstanding progress that has been made in the first six months of our investment. As the demand for high quality UK pork increases, Karro is fantastically positioned to support both its retail and trade customers in their long-term growth ambitions.”

Stephan Caron, Commercial Leader, GE Capital UK, commented: “Karro Food Group is a leading player in the UK food market and this deal will help it further bolster its position in the market. We’re delighted to be partnering with the company at such an exciting stage in its development and look forward to working closely with the management team to provide the right support to help them achieve their growth objectives.”

Karro Food was advised by Edward Sunderland and Matthew Clayton-Stead of Pinsent Masons and Steve Hall of Asset Based Lending Limited.