Case study

Seabrook: Investing in international expansion

Since LDC invested in our business, the team has gone above and beyond.

Jon Wood, Commercial Director
Seabrook

A private equity partnership with LDC helped much-loved Yorkshire crisp brand, Seabrook, internationalise.

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Sector
  • Retail & consumer

Seabrook is an iconic Yorkshire crisp and snack brand.

Employees: 150

Deal type
  • Management buyout
Exit type
  • International trade sale
Exit date

05/10/2018

The Team
LDC Region

In 2015, we backed the management buyout of Seabrook as the business embarked on a major growth drive to increase its market share. We supported the management team as it invested in its manufacturing infrastructure and new product development, and expanded internationally. In 2018, we completed the sale of Seabrook to leading snack brand Calbee (UK) Ltd.

Seabrook produces a range of crinkle cut, straight cut and lattice crisps, as well as low-calorie snacks from its headquarters in Bradford.  At the end of our partnership in 2018, Seabrook was producing more than 250m bags of crisps a year and its products were enjoyed by consumers all over the world.

Cut out for success

In July 2015, we backed the management buyout of Seabrook as the business embarked on a major growth drive to increase its market share.

The investment from LDC, which took a majority equity stake in the business, supported the management team at Seabrook as they invested in manufacturing infrastructure, new product development and progressed international sales opportunities, including the United Arab Emirates, China, France, Spain and Australia.

Less than a year later, Seabrook was recognised in The Sunday Times’ Profit Track 100 as one of ten ‘ones to watch’.

In May 2016, the business signed its first international deal since LDC’s investment. It began selling its premium lattice crisps to Gulf supermarket chain Lulu Hypermarket which had stores across the Middle East and India. A few months later, Seabrook secured a new contract to supply Aldi, which at the time had 470 stores in Australia.

Working with LDC has been fantastic for us. Not only are we able to invest in future growth of our business, we have access to advice and strategic support when we need it.”
Jon Wood, Commercial Director
Seabrook

Another business exited in great shape

In October 2018, LDC completed the sale of Seabrook to leading snack brand Calbee (UK) Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

The deal saw Seabrook join Calbee UK, a subsidiary of global snack company, Calbee Inc, which already boasted Yushoi, Rustiks and Harvest Snaps among its portfolio.

Seabrook went on to operate as a standalone company, and CEO Jonathan Bye, COO Daniel Woodwards and Commercial Director Jon Wood continued in their roles.

Right the way through the journey, the leadership team was determined not to lose the roots that made the business great in the first place, and working with LDC made this possible throughout the period of rapid growth we supported and beyond.

At the end of our partnership, the business employed 160 people at its Yorkshire HQ and for the financial year ending March 2018 recorded revenues of £29.8m and profit (EBITDA) of £5m, up 9% and 28% respectively during LDC’s tenure.

Jon Wood, Commercial Director at Seabrook Crisps said: “Working with LDC has been fantastic for us. Not only were we able to invest in an ambitious growth strategy for the business, but we also had access to advice and strategic support when we needed it, as well as confidence that we were following our own vision for the company.”

It’s only with their support that we have been able to outperform the crisp category with the Seabrook brand, won significant new private-label business and expanded overseas.”
Jonathan Bye, Chief Executive
Seabrook

Awards

M&A Deal of the Year

Seabrook Crisps – TheBusinessDesk.com’s Awards