Takeover at £450m food group

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Endless-backed Karro Food Group has been sold.  The £450m-turnover group has been sold to funds advised by CapVest Partners for an undisclosed sum.

The North Yorkshire pork supplier, which has been shortlisted for the 2017 Business Masters Awards, will be sold in the deal, subject to closing conditions.

Earlier this month, The Grocer rumoured that it would be sold in a £180m deal, although figures cannot yet be disclosed.

Karro was acquired from VION in January 2013 by private equity house Endless, who, along with the Karro management team have successfully transformed the group into a highly profitable food company.

The deal will see the Karro management team, including executive chairperson Di Walker, remain with the business.

In its most recent accounts for the year to December 2015, Karro Food Group turned over £457.7m, down from £527.7m the year before. However it also made a pre-tax profit of £12.5m, compared to a loss £12.2m the year before.

Jason Rodrigues, managing director of CapVest, said: “Karro is a great fit with CapVest’s overall investment strategy. The Group has established a leading position in the processing and sale of British pork for which we believe the long-term fundamentals are very strong.

“We are delighted to back a very experienced and capable management team and we look forward to working closely with them in pursuing exciting new organic and acquisition-led growth opportunities.”

CapVest was advised by Investec Corporate Finance (Ireland) (corporate finance), Kirkland & Ellis (legal), KPMG (financial and tax due diligence) and EY (debt advisory). Debt financing was provided by Pemberton and Lloyds Bank.

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