Marlow Foods

Manufacturer of branded chilled and frozen ingredients and meals

Montagu led the buyout of Marlow Foods, the owner of Quorn branded food products, in the first half of 2003 from AstraZeneca. Quorn was the UK's number one brand in the fast growing healthy meat alternative food segment with an established and successful presence in a number of European territories. Marlow manufactured an extensive range of branded chilled and frozen ingredients and meals for this market from its manufacturing base in north Yorkshire.

AstraZeneca undertook a global trade auction of this business which contained a number of exciting opportunities both for geographical expansion and for new product development of the product's unique core raw material myco-protein.

The management team at Marlow, working with an experienced food industry chairman, developed an attractive plan to continue its strong performance in the UK and to drive growth in international markets. Montagu assembled a financing package to acquire the business that included funding on day one to support management's expansion plans.

Following our acquisition of the business Marlow performed strongly in its core European territories and grew rapidly in the US from a standing start in 2002.

The transaction illustrated Montagu's ability to compete on price and delivery with the largest corporates and to put in place appropriate funding packages to ensure businesses are able to exploit their potential growth prospects.

In June 2005 Montagu sold Marlow Foods to Premier Foods Plc for £172 million, giving Montagu and the management team an attractive return on their investment.

Deal details

Deal type: Management Buyout Investment Year: 2003 Country: United Kingdom Status: Realised Value: £70 million Industry Sector: Consumer