Walker Morris advises Seabrook on Management Buyout

Bowl of crips Print news article

20/07/2015

Specialist lawyers at Walker Morris have advised Seabrook Crisps, the iconic Yorkshire crisp brand, on a management buyout which sees the business embark on a major growth drive to increase market share.

Seabrook Crisps is a well-established heritage business based in Bradford, Yorkshire which supplies over 20 million bags of crisps each month and employs nearly 150 staff.

The management buyout has been led by Chief Executive Jonathan Bye and a management team (Kevin Butterworth, Marketing Director, Daniel Woodwards, Chief Operating Officer and Jon Wood, Commercial Director) which has overseen the strong growth of the Seabrook brand since his appointment in 2012. The transaction will see a full exit by owner Ken Brook-Chrispin, who led a buyout of other family shareholders in 2006.

The investment from LDC, which has taken the majority equity stake in the business, will support Seabrook as it looks to invest in its manufacturing infrastructure, new product development and the brand so as to realise its full potential.

Jonathan Bye commented:

“LDC’s support for the MBO of Seabrook Crisps is great news and will help us to not only deliver but accelerate our growth plan. It will enable us to invest both in our operations to drive further efficiencies and flexibility and to increase marketing investment to continue to build the brand’s national profile.”

Corporate partners Richard Naish and Debbie Jackson led the team of specialist lawyers at Walker Morris.

Richard Naish, who also heads the Food & Drink Team at Walker Morris, commented:

“Seabrook Crisps is a great brand with a strong heritage.  The business has enjoyed significant recent success through product development and the launch of new ranges and this LDC backed MBO will no doubt mark the start of an exciting new chapter.  It has been a great deal to work on and we are delighted to have been involved.”

Debbie Jackson said:

“With a strong Yorkshire brand and an all Yorkshire advisory team, the deal is testament to the experience and expertise of the professional services sector within the region.  The deal also reinforces Walker Morris’ reputation in the food and drink sector and follows our recent work for Karro Food Group advising on a £74 million funding package.”

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