Tyrrells has been sold for £300m by the investment firm that bought the upmarket crisp brand for a third of that price three years ago.
Investcorp, a Bahrain-based investor in luxury brands, has sold Tyrrells to Amplify Snacks, the US owner of SkinnyPop popcorn. Amplify plans to increase US sales of Tyrrells products, which include parsnip crisps and sour cream flavoured tortillas with poppy seeds.
The deal is the third sale of Tyrrells since it was founded as a sideline business 14 years ago by William Chase, who was then a struggling Herefordshire potato farmer. Chase sold the business to private equity firm Langholm Capital in 2008 for around £40m.
Langholm sold Tyrrells to Investcorp in 2013 for £100m. Under Investcorp’s ownership, sales have more than doubled, while non-UK sales have increased from 20% of the total to almost 40%. It has also added organic and gluten-free snacks to the product range.
David Milner, Tyrrells’ chief executive, will stay on as international president at Amplify, which specialises in healthier snacks. He joined Tyrrells in 2010.
Milner said: “As a small, UK farm-based business it is a tremendous achievement to be now part of a US publicly traded company with the international reach to make Tyrrells a global brand.”
Tyrrells said it was still based at the Herefordshire farm in England where Chase launched the business in 2002.
Chase became disillusioned with Langholm after it ditched the small retailers he had cultivated and started selling to Tesco. Chase, who has branched out into making premium vodka, also complained that Langholm stopped using his premium potatoes for cheaper ones.
Amplify’s chief executive, Tom Ennis, said: “The product characteristics and flavour profiles of Tyrrells’ on-trend premium brands align with Amplify’s better-for-you snacking strategy. Together we plan to capitalise on each company’s market leadership and sales force capabilities to drive higher revenue growth than either company could independently accomplish.”
By Sean Farrell
Source: The Guardian
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