RBPE sells Rayner

The Royal Bank Private Equity and Lloyds TSB Development Capital have realised their investments in Rayner Food Group via a sale of the business to a management buy-in team, headed by Michael Beard. Dresdner Kleinwort Capital (DKC) led the GBP40 million deal. Debt was provided by NIB.

The business has been sold at a total value of GBP34 million, having originally been acquired in a management buyout for GBP16 million in 1997. The deal has returned an IRR of 40 per cent plus per annum. Both the original deal and the subsequent realisation were handled by Tim Farazmand from Royal Bank Private Equity.

Established in 1851, Rayner is a manufacturer of high quality products and services specific to niche markets within the food industry. The group employs around 300 people with sites in North London, Bristol and Wellingborough. The company is made up of three operating subsidiaries: Rayner & Co Limited, Cauldron Foods Limited and Martlet Foods.

Michael Beard leads the management team. Beard takes over from the retiring chief executive officer. Nigel Garrow, who has held a number of senior positions in the food industry, has been appointed non-executive chairman and Andy Long is business development director. Beard has a successful track record within the food ingredients industry and 26 years experience there. Long has worked with Michael for several years, having also gained significant experience within the food market.

Beard said of the deal: “Rayner has performed strongly by effectively identifying consumer trends and providing innovation and value to its customers in the retail and food service sectors. I am excited at having the opportunity of working with the existing management to plan and execute the next stage in the sustained growth of the business.”

Philip Conboy and Sebastian McKinlay co-ordinated the investment for DKC. Conboy, who leads specialist manufacturing sector deals within DKC, will join the board of Raynor. He said: “We are delighted to have acquired Rayner with Michael Beard and his team, in the twelfth transaction we have completed through our MBI club. This is a further example of our sector focus and strategy to assemble strong management teams to develop businesses with significant growth prospects.”