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July 7, 2022

Ireland’s Rose Confectionery gets backing from local PE firm Melior Equity Partners

The Dublin-based private-equity firm said its investment will support the future growth of Rose Confectionery.

By Andy Coyne

Rose Confectionery, an Irish sweets manufacturer, has received investment from Melior Equity Partners.

Dublin-based private-equity firm Melior Equity Partners said its investment will support the future growth of the business, specifically expanding the Rose Confectionery team, pursuing opportunities for international sales.

Melior Equity Partners has not disclosed the size of the stake it has taken in Rose Confectionery, nor the amount paid for it.

Established in 1983, Rose Confectionery employs 87 staff, with 33 in its manufacturing facility in Edenderry, Co. Offaly, 27 in its distribution centre in Dublin and the remaining 27 in the UK.

It manufactures and distributes confectionery, freeze pops and savoury snacks, including the Sun Exotics range. It also has long-established licence arrangements for well-known brands such as Swizzels, Tango, Fruit Shoot and Vimto.

Rose Confectionery’s distribution network across Ireland and the UK covers many large retailers including Tesco, Dunnes Stores, SuperValu and Lidl.

Richard Kennedy, group CEO and managing director of Rose Confectionery, said: “Melior Equity Partners is the right team to help us achieve the next phase of our ambitious growth plans and we are delighted to have secured it as an investor in our business.

“After more than 30 years in business and having grown very strongly over the last few years to reach EUR40m [US$40.7m] in sales, we knew it was the right time to seek additional investment to help us continue that growth.” Rose Confectionery did not disclose in which fiscal year it generated the EUR40m in sales, or its sales the year previous.

The company said its decision to partner with Melior Equity Partners was driven by its track record in helping to grow similar Irish food and confectionery businesses including Lily O’Brien’s and Carroll Cuisine.

Rose Confectionery’s management team will remain unchanged post-deal. Peter Garvey, co-founder of Melior Equity Partners, and Jonathan Dalton, its managing director, will join the board of the company as part of the transaction.

Dalton said: “We are excited to partner with Richard and his team who have grown Rose into a highly successful confectionery and freeze business with a unique set of license relationships, tremendous distribution channels and a wide client base comprising of supermarkets, discounters, convenience stores and wholesalers.

“Through its consistent focus on innovation, the business has been growing at over 20% a year and we believe that we can help the Rose team continue their impressive growth trajectory. Rose is making a significant investment in its manufacturing capabilities in Edenderry and we will invest to expand the portfolio of licences and product categories.”

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