Healthy investment as Wholebake's MBO is natural next step
A £750,000 debt and equity investment from Finance Wales has
helped finance a management buy-out (MBO) of successful
Denbighshire-based food manufacturer, Wholebake Ltd. The move
will enable Wholebake’s new management team to build on the
company’s profitable growth.
Managing Director, Mark Gould and Operations Director, Richard Shaw
used the investment to buy-out founder, Steve Jones’ majority
shareholding when he decided to retire after 25 years with the
business. Gould and Shaw have each been involved in Wholebake
for over 5 years and will now oversee the business as it continues
to expand into new markets.
Established in 1984, Wholebake manufactures and distributes a
range of own-brand seed and fruit bars to supermarkets, health food
chains and other retail outlets. Its product range includes
the popular 9Bar which has been on the market for 10 years and is
one of the leading ‘Free From’ healthy snacks in the UK. The
remainder of Wholebake’s revenue comes from contract manufacturing
where it has an excellent and growing reputation.
“We’re at an exciting stage in Wholebake’s development.
Consumers’ dietary habits are constantly changing and Wholebake has
grown over the years by responding to changing consumer tastes. Our
products have successfully made the transition from niche to
nationally-recognised brands,” said Mark Gould, Wholebake’s
Finance Wales structured a package of debt and equity investment
to provide the company with long-term finance to fund the MBO.
“Richard and I have been with Wholebake for over 5 years and in
that time the company has gone from strength to strength. Our
markets are growing and we have exciting plans to capitalise on
them profitably. This investment has not only helped us do
the MBO, but has also provided us with the financial backing to
grow the company by continuing to improve our efficiency and
introducing some new products,” continued Gould.
Finance Wales Investment Executive Heather Abrahams who lead the
“Wholebake is a profitable company and its management team has the
skill, experience and commitment to grow the business. We’re
delighted to be part of this next chapter and I’m confident this is
the start of a strong period of growth for the company.
“We’re seeing more and more succession deals from management
teams like Wholebake’s who realise that retirement needn’t signal
the end of their business and all their hard work. An MBO
needs the backing of a flexible investor with long-term vision for
what the company could achieve.”
The cereal bar market grew by 29% between 2005 and 2009 and its
current value is estimated at £324 million, with further growth
forecast over the next 5 years.