Samworth Brothers acquires Cornish pasty company

West Cornwall Pasty Company has been sold to Samworth Brothers for an undisclosed sum

Samworth Brothers has acquired the West Cornwall Pasty Company for an undisclosed sum, expanding the manufacturer’s pasty market share in Britain.

Samworth purchased the company from private equity group Endless’s Enact business fund, which bought the pasty firm after it fell into administration in 2014.

West Cornwall Pasty Company was the first investment made by the Enact Fund and is also its first disposal. Endless expected the sale would deliver a five-and-a-half times return for investors.

Samworth Brothers Group chief executive Alex Knight said: “Samworth Brothers already has considerable experience and presence in both the food-to-go and savoury pastry market through our existing brands and own-label operations.

‘Area of real opportunity’

“We see the hot food-to-go sector as one area of real opportunity. This acquisition provides a great extension to our hot food-to-go capabilities and gives us another outstanding platform to develop our offer in this area.”

The sale will see the Ginsters owner take control of West Cornwall Pasty Company’s 33 outlets in the UK, as well as 19 franchised shops in Moto service stations.

Richard Armitage, chief financial officer of Samworth Brothers, said the company was delighted to be able to bring the West Cornwall Pasty Company into the Samworth Brothers family of companies. 

“We are able to offer many opportunities for the future growth of the business and an exciting future for our new colleagues,” he said.

Ideal fit

West Cornwall Pasty Company executive chairman Chris Peck said Samworth Brothers was an ideal fit for the company and was satisfied by the sale.

The West Cornwall Pasty Company is headquartered in Threemilestone near Truro and generated sales of about £13M in the year ending March 25 2016. All of its pasties are made in Cornwall.  

Samworth Brothers employs about 8,000 people at sites in Leicestershire, Cornwall and other parts of the UK.  It produces own-label products for retailers, as well as Ginsters pasties and Soreen malt loaf.

Meanwhile, you can find out about the top mergers and acquisitions in the food and drink industry of 2016 in our photogallery, featuring 2 Sisters Food Group, Tyrrells and Mondelēz.

 

Analyst’s opinion

“Samworth is a fabulous business, a real class act in largely the UK [own-label] scene.

“The acquisition of the West Cornwall Pasty Company is pretty much one of a bolt-on nature for Samworth, given the relative size of the companies, but it is interesting nonetheless.

“Firstly, for Samworth, there may be synergy with Ginsters, which is a much larger but mid-market products compared to West Cornwall.

“Secondly though, it expands Samworth’s proprietary brand portfolio – which includes Soreen – and takes the business forward in the food and beverage market versus the retail channel.

“We believe that the West Cornwall label has found a very good home in the Samworth fold.”

Clive Black, Shore Capital analyst.

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