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Bridgepoint in the News

11 June 2012

Bridgepoint sells Symington's

Symington’s Ltd, the convenience food manufacturer and Intermediate Capital Group plc (ICG), the FTSE 250 alternative investment firm and Asset Manager, have announced a new private equity partnership to support a management buy-out of the food manufacturer.

The move follows after a five year investment period with current private equity partner Bridgepoint. ICG are investing junior debt and equity, and will hold a minority stake of 49.9% in the food company, with the existing management team taking 50.1%.

The partnership with ICG will also see Symington's replace their funding package from Yorkshire Bank with banking support from a new group of banks comprising RBS, Lloyds and HSBC.

Leeds-based Symington's is one of the UK's long established food companies, dating back to 1827, and today produces a wide range of convenience products under its own brands, under licence and for private label customers. In recent years, the company has enjoyed strong growth year on year, and is a leading player in the food categories within which it competes, with a portfolio of brands including Ragu, Chicken Tonight, Campbell's, Ainsley Harriott, and Aunt Bessie's.

David Salkeld, CEO of Symington's said:

"These are tough but exciting times for the grocery market, and we want be sure that Symington's continues to play a leading role through category and product innovation and continued investment in its product and retailer brand plans. We are delighted to partner with ICG, who took a different approach and have provided us with a unique financing structure which will give us a strong platform for future growth and expansion. I would like to thank Bridgepoint and Yorkshire Bank, who have been excellent partners for us over the last five years. Working with my highly experienced management team, and our new partners ICG, I look forward to building on our strong track record of growth and innovation and continuing our success long into the future."

Gareth Knight, Investment Director of ICG said:

"We are delighted to be partnering with the Symington's management team. The business has a culture grounded in entrepreneurial spirit and hard work, which has driven a strong growth trajectory in recent times. Symington's is highly regarded in the grocery market for good reason, and we are backing a very exciting business plan. This transaction is consistent with ICG's 23 year track record of providing debt and equity solutions in partnership with high calibre owner managers."

Mark Stroud, Director at Bridgepoint said:

"Symington's grew substantially during our period of investment, having made a number of strategic acquisitions and concluded an important partnership with Campbell's. It is now well placed to continue growing with a new investment partner."

For this transaction, the Symington's management team were advised by PWC Leeds and Walker Morris. ICG was advised by Spayne Lindsay and Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP. Bridgepoint and the management shareholders were advised by Rothschild Leeds and Travers Smith.


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