Packaging firm snaps up food specialist

Packaging firm snaps up food specialist

Featherstone-based Integrated Packing Services (IPS) has snapped up specialist food manufacturing and packaging business, Foodpack.

Investment management firm Seneca Partners has realised a 3.3x return for investors with the sale of St Helens-based Foodpack to IPS. It comes three years after Seneca bought Foodpack from administration in a £7.5m deal.

Andrew Dawson, chief executive of IPS, said: “IPS are committed to growth and this acquisition presents a natural step on our journey.

“We have been aware of Foodpack and their success over the past three years. The business has a great reputation, an excellent location and massive scope for further growth.”

Tim Murphy of Seneca, who was a director of Foodpack throughout the investment, said: “Making a success of a business bought out of administration is notoriously difficult and involves many highs and lows along the way.

“Bringing Foodpack back from the brink and turning it into a high quality operation has been a great result for our investors and all stakeholders, not least the 150 colleagues who work in the business, but also the wider community of St Helens that benefits from those jobs being secured.

“The management team, supported by their colleagues and led by industry veteran Anthony Hitchen,who Seneca introduced to the deal, have worked tirelessly to transform the business from an operational and financial perspective.

“As a result, Foodpack continues to go from strength to strength and we are delighted to be passing it on to a high quality operation such as IPS who are perfectly positioned to take it forward into its next growth phase.”

Anthony Hitchen, chairman of Foodpack, who will leave the business following the sale, said: “This dramatic turnaround has happened due to a lot of hard work by many individuals, but notably the committed and dedicated staff at Foodpack.

“It is reassuring for them to have such a reputable company to further develop the business.”