Sweet deal for Manchester advisers as north west confectionary manufacturer is acquired by Belgium giant

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North west fruit and confectionary sauce manufacturer Fruitapeel has been acquired by international company Puratos in a deal brokered by a trio of Manchester advisers.

Fruitapeel was founded in 2006 by Terry and Debbie Haigh. The company, which is headquartered in Simonswood, Merseyside and has around 70 employees, supplies customers from artisan producers and farm shops to multi-million-pound ice cream, dessert and cake manufacturers. 

Belgium-based Puratos is a leading manufacturer of premium bakery, patisserie and chocolate ingredients for the baking industry. Puratos was established in 1919 and its products and services are available in more than 100 countries. Puratos UK was founded in 1977 and is based in Buckinghamshire. 

The acquisition is designed to strengthen Puratos’ position in the UK bakery industry and enables the company to enhance its offering to existing customers. The deal also enables Puratos UK to develop its expertise in fruit sourcing and production of preservative-free fillings. 

The corporate team at the Manchester office of Mills & Reeve, led by partner Chris Ross, advised Puratos on the deal. Fruitapeel was advised by Peter Allen, Helen Mather and Ryan Brown at Manchester law firm Kuits. Corporate Finance and Tax advice was provided to Fruitapeel by CLB Coopers, with Andrew Feeke & Simon Carruthers (Corporate Finance) and Rob Wardle & Amanda Sayle (Tax) forming the transaction team. 

Chris said: “We are delighted to advise Puratos on the deal. There are excellent synergies between the two companies and, following Fruitapeel becoming part of the Puratos business, the company has an excellent platform from which to achieve its ambitious growth plans in the UK.” 

Terry said: “I could not be happier with what Puratos has to offer for the future of Fruitapeel. Puratos not only bring a wealth of experience, passion and commitment, they also provide the manufacturing experience to compliment a business that has been built on quality and customer service, this is truly an exciting time for the business and our customers.” 

Julia Darvill, Puratos UK’s General Manager, said the deal offers a genuine win-win scenario for both businesses and their respective customer bases: “Moving forward we will be able to offer a more comprehensive product and service range.” 

Andrew Feeke, Senior Director at CLB Coopers, commented, “We are delighted to have advised Fruitapeel’s shareholders in this transaction. The deal is the culmination of plans that, working closely with Fruitpeel, were put in place to realise the value from the growth the company has achieved over the past twelve months, and with a firm focus on its long-term strategic goals. We wish the business every continued success in what looks set to be a very exciting future”. 

Peter Allen, Kuits corporate partner, said: “This was a highly significant and transformative deal for Fruitapeel and its shareholders and we were delighted to be able to use our specialist food and beverage sector experience to support their move into what will be a very exciting time for the development of the business.” 

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