Friday 23 February 2018

Fitzpatrick's CapVest loses out in £500m bid for KP Snacks

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

IRISH foods investor Seamus Fitzpatrick's CapVest has lost out in the final round of bidding for KP Snacks, the British company behind KP nuts and crisp brands Hula Hoops and McCoys.

CapVest was one of three private equity firms that submitted bids of about £500m (€615m) to United Biscuits for the snacks unit but all have now lost out to German trade buyer Intersnack Group.

CapVest, founded by Cavan man Fitzpatrick, is already the majority owner of Ireland's Valeo Foods.

The four bidders for KP Snacks made second-round offers for the business in November.

Yesterday, a spokesman for United Biscuits said Germany's Intersnack's bid has emerged as the winning bid. Despite missing out on the deal, the bid by CapVest will be closely monitored by the food industry here.

That's because Fitzpatrick has created Valeo, now one of the country's biggest food companies in little more than two years. It was formed from a merger of Batchelors and Origin Enterprises in 2010.

The deal left Fitzpatrick's venture with a majority in the combined business, and he has gone on to add Jacobs Fruitfield to the mix in a deal reckoned to have been worth approximately €100m.

The combined business controls a plethora of household brands including Batchelors, Odlums, Roma, Jacobs and Erin Foods.

KP Snacks is Britain's second largest savoury snacks maker.

Intersnack has a turnover of €100m in the UK.

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