Deal will provide funding to further the growth and development of APS


APS is the UK’s biggest tomato supplier

Cheshire-based A Pearson Holdings Limited (APS), which grows over 500m tomatoes a year in the UK, has been acquired by the P3P Partners group.

The Pearson family, and other former shareholders, have sold 80 per cent of the business to P3P for an undisclosed sum. This provides the business with access to additional funding to further grow and develop into other fresh produce areas.

The management team at APS, led by Mark Pearson as CEO, will continue to run the business on a day-to-day basis. Paul Allen has joined the business as executive chairman to enhance the growth plans of the business.

APS is the UK’s leading supplier of British tomatoes to the high street and the largest organic producer of tomatoes in the UK. The company also grows peppers, cucumbers and aubergines for major retailers.

Founded in 1949, as A Pearson & Sons in Alderley Edge, Cheshire, the business has expanded to seven locations, operating across 70.4ha of glasshouse in Cheshire, Kent, Isle of Wight and the North East with its packing operation and head office in Chichester.

P3P, a sustainable energy and agri-tech specialist, has been an operating partner of APS for over ten years, providing heat, power, light and CO2 at all of the company’s growing sites.

Pearson commented: “Being part of a family-run business meant I was keen to ensure we found the right partner to take the company to the next level, and I’m confident we have achieved this with P3P.

“This is an exciting next step for the business, and we look forward to the future with confidence and enthusiasm. It’s very much business as usual for everyone involved in APS and these recent changes will help us to strengthen the excellent services and produce we provide to our customers”.

Welcoming Allen to the team, Pearson said: “Paul is a well-known business entrepreneur who brings extensive experience in achieving high growth and has made significant investments in food-industry companies in the UK and America, including Pasta King, which is one of the leading providers of school meals in the UK, and Genesis Bakery in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland”.

Julian Harris, partner at P3P, said: “We are thrilled to work with APS and build upon the rapid growth it has achieved, which has seen turnover rise from around.£7m in 2006 to over £100m in 2022.

“Food security is a critical issue for the UK, and APS plays a vital part in growing British fresh produce sustainably. This investment adds to P3P’s strong track record in the food, agri-tech and sustainable energy sectors. We look forward to supporting the management team in the future development of the company”.

Allen commented: “APS currently grows a third of all British tomatoes and is in a strong position to meet the rising demand of consumers for great quality British tomatoes.

“I’m looking forward to strengthening APS’s position and broadening the offer of fresh produce grown. The partnership and investment with P3P will help us to drive the APS brand and support plans for new areas of growth”.