GEN fruit salad

UK private equity fund Elaghmore has acquired Orchard House Food, a major supplier of prepared fruit, fresh fruit drinks and desserts, from Hain Celestial Group.

Orchard House and its associated brands supply retailers, on-the-go food outlets, foodservice providers and manufacturers throughout the UK. The business is headquartered in Corby, Northamptonshire with additional facilities in Gateshead, and has a client list including Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Pret A Manger, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

Elaghmore said that Orchard House, which it described as a non-core business for Hain, fits well within its investment strategy, which is to use its executive team’s operational skills to deliver significant growth and value creation.

It continued that Hain chose Elaghmore after a competitive bidding process, with the decision based on 'Elaghmore’s proven ability to quickly and efficiently complete deals, offering certainty of execution, despite the current challenging operating environment.' Elaghmore said its hands-on approach means it will support the Orchard House management team as the business enters its next growth stage.

The deal has been estimated at around £25 million.

Elaghmore founders Andy Ducker and David Manning have experience working with a global fruit business as investors and executives at Chaucer Foods. They developed and subsequently sold Chaucer Foods to Nagatanien Holdings Co. in December 2016 in a deal worth $130m.

The acquisition of Orchard House and its associated brands is Elaghmore’s tenth deal, and first from Elaghmore Fund 1A. Elaghmore first launched its initial fund on December 2016 with a raise of £60m from institutions in the US and Europe. In December 2020, it raised a further £30m from US institutions to create Elaghmore Fund 1A.

Ducker said: “Orchard House is a market-leading business which supplies products that many UK customers buy daily. We are very proud that we will be part of Orchard House’s growth and development as we look beyond Covid-19. Orchard House is a flagship investment for Elaghmore, and our financial strength and operational expertise means we can help Orchard House prosper.

“Elaghmore’s deal pipeline is full of interesting opportunities. The pandemic has seen the need for many successful companies to seek new investment, especially as government support schemes end, and bank support is limited. Elaghmore is well placed to help these companies, and we look forward to continuing to create significant value for our investors.”