3i sells Stateside

German food producer Freiberger has bought UK-based pizza manufacturer Stateside Foods from 3i for an undisclosed amount. Stateside Foods produces fresh pre-packed pizzas for the retail and food service sectors. 3i backed a management buyout of the company from Lion Foods in the early 1990s and subsequently provided £2m growth capital in 1999 to help fund the £10m acquisition of Tolona Pizza from McCain. The company’s turnover has grown from £15m in 1999 to £50m this year.

Freiberger, which specialises in pizza, pasta and baguettes, is a subsidiary of quoted German sugar group Sudzucker. With sales companies in the UK, France, Austria and Poland, it supplies 17 European countries. The acquisition of Stateside Foods brings the company its first UK manufacturing facility.

Mike Robins, managing director of 3i Manchester, says: “Under the new ownership the business will be able to build in its next stage of its ambitions to become the UK’s premier chilled pizza manufacturer.”

Stateside Foods annually produces around 52 million pizzas of all types and also manufactures pizza bases and dough balls. The company operates three sites in the North-West of England, employing 750 staff. The current management team will continue to work with Freiberger.