Blog: Dean BestPrivate equity shows faith in food

Dean Best | 29 April 2008

The Mars / Wrigley deal demonstrated that there is some life in the financial markets yet.

And, here in the UK, there has been a sign that, despite a positive lack of serious M&A this year, there are some who have great confidence in the potential of small, high-growth businesses in the food industry.

Langholm Capital, the private equity fund, has followed its acquisition, ownership and sale of burgeoning cereals business Dorset Cereals with the purchase of another thriving niche firm, Tyrrells Crisps.

just-food interviewed Langholm principal Oliver Wyncoll last week and he told us that growing demand for natural food and for heritage and provenance has been a key factor in his firm’s investments.

Private equity has got something of a bad press in recent months with some firms seen as asset-stripping predators out to make a quick return without putting up any significant investment.

Langholm, however, believes its backers – Rabobank and Unilever – show that it is part of a different breed.

It’s apparently successful model for building niche brands appears to back its argument.


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