Confectionery and snack foods group Glisten has announced its acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Lyme Regis Fine Foods.

Lyme Regis operates from two sites in Liphook, Hampshire, employing over 50 people who, in the year to 31 December 2004, generated earnings before interest and tax of GBP0.5m (US$0.89m) on sales of GBP3.6m.

Established in 1986, Lyme Regis is a manufacturer and supplier of organic cereal and fruit bars and organic fruited snacks both to major retailers such as Sainsbury, Tesco and Waitrose, as well as to a broad range of UK health-food outlets.

Approximately 60% of its sales are branded 'Lyme Regis', including a strong organic, no-added-sugar range for children.  It has also just launched, under the 'Bright' brand name, a new range of Low GI bars aimed at the premium 'lunchbox' market, primarily for adults.  The balance of Lyme Regis sales are via a small number of own label contracts, including the supply of a range of energy bars to European gyms and health clubs.

Lyme Regis has been acquired for an undisclosed sum which is being satisfied by a combination of shares and cash, the latter being funded from Glisten's bank facilities with Barclays, which have recently been extended.  

The founder of Lyme Regis will be staying with the business to continue its development following the acquisition and will also contribute to building the rest of Glisten's confectionery and snacking range in the organic and 'well-being' segments.

Glisten also announced the establishment of an international office, in Rotterdam, to further develop its export business across all product sectors. The office will be headed up by Albert Cuypers who joins Glisten as commercial director, international division. 

"The acquisition of Lyme Regis builds on the strong position we already have in the dynamic cereal and health bars sector, and adds a unique organic and branded element to our product offering," said Paul Simmonds, chief executive of Glisten Plc. "Although it is relatively small, Lyme Regis is a strong, well run business with good profitability and cash flow operating in a valuable and growing niche that fits our business model perfectly."