The company, which produces the Beechdean and Loseley ice cream brands, acquired half of Lovingtons for an undisclosed sum.
Beechdean said the reason for the joint venture was to rapidly expand the Lovingtons brand in the West Country by building on the company’s reputation for manufacturing the “finest quality dairy ice cream”.
Md Andrew Howard said a joint venture with Lovingtons had been under discussion for some time.
‘The right partner’
“We have known the Lovingtons brand for a long time and felt strongly that it was the right partner for us to grow our business in the key West Country market,” said Howard.
“Whilst the factory already has a BRC [British Retail Consortium] AA grading, we are looking to put substantial investment in both the manufacturing capabilities as well as the sales and marketing side of the business to capitalise on the excellent reputation the business has developed.”
The joint venture followed the acquisition of a pancake and waffle business. This had boosted the number of products Beechdean could offer its clients, according to Howard.
Lovingtons’ md John Clement said: “It’s like having your big brother turn up at just the right time. We have a great team down at Lovingtons and we have worked hard to build up a strong reputation with our key clients.
‘Strong reputation with our key clients’
“Beechdean getting involved will now allow us to push on and really develop the brand and, most importantly, continue to improve our customer offer.”
Beechdean was founded in 1989 and operates out of two factories in Chester and Buckinghamshire. It produces up to 150M portions of ice cream a year, including branded and licensed products.
Lovingtons manufactures ice cream in a completely nut-free factory. All of its products are suitable for vegetarians and are free-from artificial flavourings and colouring.
Meanwhile, the food and drink manufacturing sector has seen a series of high profile mergers and acquisitions this year. We capture the top deals in this photogallery.