Private equity firm takes a bite out of Leicestershire food manufacturer

Chris Neville, Tony Foster and Ken Osborne

Private equity firm LDC has invested in Bramble Foods, a Market Harborough manufacturer and distributor of fine foods, to support its organic and acquisitive growth strategy.

The deal will see Bramble invest in its product portfolio and in-house manufacturing capabilities. LDC will also support acquisition opportunities.

Bramble manufactures and supplies more than 2,000 products, ranging from preserves, pickles, chutneys and sauces, to cakes, biscuits, confectionery, hampers and seasonal goods.

Founded in 2008, the family-run business has 1,400 customers and supplies to a national base of independent, local retailers, and garden centres, farm shops and holiday parks.

LDC is backing the existing management team, led by founder and CEO Tony Foster, alongside finance director Chris Neville and sales director Ken Osborne. As part of the transaction, co-founder Nigel Foster will retire to pursue other interests.

The investment was led by Rob Schofield, partner in LDC’s Midlands team alongside investment director Phil Hinson. A team from Orbis Partners, led by partner Gary Ecob and director Steve Nock, acted as lead advisors to Bramble.

Tony Foster said: “At the heart of Bramble is an unrivalled range of high-quality foods. Year on year we have increased our food production capabilities and invested in our personalisation service to offer unique bespoke products to our customers. LDC is the leading private equity firm in our region and we know our partnership with the team will help us to continue to grow our business into the future.”

Rob Schofield said: “Tony and his team have unrivalled experience and a real passion for delivering the highest level of service to their customers. It’s why Bramble is already one of the market-leading businesses in the sector. We’re excited to be supporting the team to deliver the next stage of their ambitious growth strategy.”

Beth Mather at Gateley provided legal advice to LDC, with financial diligence provided by Ed Gray at Cooper Parry and commercial diligence provided by Michael Gell at Hullbrook.

Dan Shilvock at Shoosmiths provided legal advice to Bramble.

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