Browne Jacobson’s corporate dealmakers and Food & Drink sector experts have acted for the shareholders of World of Sweets and Bobby’s (IBG) on the sale of its majority stake to A&M Capital Europe (AMCE) in a move which will support the Group’s growth ambitions and further its digital strategy.
IBG which is headquartered in Loughborough, is a leading brand owner and tech-enabled distributor of confectionery, baked goods and savoury snacks and also the portfolio company of Sculptor Capital Management Inc. The Group supplies its products to clients in the convenience retail, speciality, wholesale and grocery channel space. It offers a multichannel and tech enabled distribution operation and works with a customer base of over 60,000 and has a brand portfolio comprising World of Sweets Bobby’s, Bonds of London, Kingsway, Crazy Candy Factory and Candy Realms. It is also internationally partnered with Pez, Nerds and Tootsie.
AMCE is a pan-European, London headquartered middle private equity investment firm. It specialises in providing financial, strategic and operational support and advice to its client portfolio of growing European businesses.
Browne Jacobson’s Nottingham based corporate partner Nigel Blackwell led on the deal, alongside senior associate Sam Sharp, who heads up the firm’s Food & Drink sector, senior associate Matt Bolton and associate Shania Sood. Partner Sandra Wong advised on the private equity elements whilst partner Paul Hill and senior associate James Busby gave banking advice and partner Andrew Noble advised on the tax side of the transaction.
Nigel Blackwell said: “IBG’s has a strong offering in the confectionery and snacking distribution and wholesale market, a diverse client base spanning the UK and overseas and a clear and robust strategy to further grow their award winning and popular brand portfolio and digital distribution capabilities, so it is evident why AMCE wanted to partner with them.
“We are pleased to have supported them in this move and are excited to see Wayne and the business push on with its strategic growth plans with AMCE’s backing through a series of key bolt on acquisitions which will further strengthen the Group’s market position.”
Wayne Beedle, IBG CEO added: “We are all incredibly excited about the next phase of our growth journey. Sculptor has been hugely supportive over the last five years, enabling the business to focus on serving our customers' needs. As the largest distributor, importer and wholesaler of confectionery in the UK, we take pride in being great partners for our suppliers and customers. With AMCE as our new equity partner, we will further invest in our award-winning brands and by supercharging our digital capability, we will serve our customers as they want to be served.”
“We were pleased to have had Browne Jacobson work with us on this transaction. Not only are they specialists in the private equity space but they really know their stuff around the confectionery food and drink industries which was essential to the successful close of this deal.”