Fruitapeel was founded in 2006
Image Source: Fruitapeel Ltd
Fruitapeel was founded in 2006
Richard Bell

Merseyside sauce company acquired by Belgian manufacturer

A fruit and confectionary sauce business in the North West has been snapped up by a European food manufacturer.

Fruitapeel, based in Merseyside, will now operate as part of Belgium-headquartered Puratos.

The company was founded in 2006 by Terry and Debbie Haigh, who took over earlier this year in a management buyout.

Fruitapeel has a 50,000 sq ft factory in Simonswood, near Liverpool, and employs around 70 people.

Terry Haigh 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, general manager of Puratos UK, commented: “Moving forward we will be able to offer a more comprehensive product and service range.”

The corporate team at the Manchester office of law firm Mills & Reeve, led by partner Chris Ross, advised Puratos on the transaction.

Chris Ross of Mills & Reeve 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.”

Fruitapeel was advised by Peter Allen, Helen Mather and Ryan Brown from Manchester law firm Kuits. Accountants CLB Coopers provided Fruitapeel with corporate finance and tax advice.

Kuits corporate partner Peter Allen 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.”

Andrew Feeke, senior director at CLB Coopers, said of the 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.”

Professional services giant EY’s transactional services team in Manchester provided buyside financial and tax due diligence to Puratos.

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