NVM backed Kitwave Wholesale Group acquires Eden Farm

Kitwave Wholesale Group, an independent UK wholesaler of FMCG products, has added a seventh company to its group following the acquisition of frozen food and ice cream wholesale and distribution business, Eden Farm. The acquisition fits well within the Kitwave group in terms of its operations and national geography. Eden’s product offerings will broaden Kitwave’s range considerably, and increase its customer base to over 22,000.

Newcastle based Kitwave was established in 1987 as an acquisition vehicle set up to purchase the small confectionery wholesale business, M&M Value. The business further expanded by acquiring Turner & Wrights, FW Bishop & Son and Westone Wholesale. NVM Private Equity (NVM) supported Kitwave in 2011 with £7.5 million of investment to support its acquisition strategy. Paul Young (Kitwave’s Group Managing Director) and his team have since acquired Anderson Wholesale, Automatic Retailing, Teatime Tasties and now Eden.

Eden Farm, based in Peterlee, is a 50 year old family-run business originally set up with one minivan delivering its home-grown produce to customers. It has since grown into a five-depot operation with a national delivery network distributing top brands of frozen food and ice cream operating from Peterlee, Cambridge, Bradford, Cardiff and Glasgow. Since 2009, Eden Farm’s turnover has almost doubled reaching over £40 million, and following this acquisition the combined turnover for the enlarged Kitwave group will be approaching £250 million. The acquisition will also increase the Kitwave group’s staff numbers to over 450.

Paul Young, Managing Director of Kitwave Group, comments
“Eden’s Managing Director, Frank Stephenson, and I have known each other for a number of years and we are delighted with the acquisition. Eden Farm is a natural fit for the group — increasing Kitwave’s product range and providing a wider customer reach across the UK. Frank was keen to become part of a larger group, and Eden will continue to succeed and grow with the Kitwave Group behind it.”

Mauro Biagioni, Director of NVM Private Equity, comments:
“Kitwave’s acquisition strategy is going exactly to plan since we invested three years ago, and Eden Farm will further complement Kitwave’s strategic portfolio of businesses. We are delighted that Frank will join the Kitwave board, where they will benefit from his industry expertise. Paul and the team are keen to make further acquisitions across their industry to continue to grow in a fragmented market.”

Notes To Editors

Eden Farm www.eden-farm.co.uk

Kitwave www.kitwave.co.uk

NVM Private Equity
is independently owned with over 29 years’ experience of investing in unquoted UK businesses. NVM is a generalist investor, managing over £290 million of funds, and is differentiated by having executives living and working in regional business communities throughout the UK. NVM seeks investment opportunities in UK businesses which have the right mix of growth potential and market vision. They may be looking to grow organically, acquire another business or secure a management buy-out. Typically, NVM looks to invest between £2 million and £10 million in each transaction. www.nvm.co.uk

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