150 jobs saved as St Helens food packaging company gets new owner

Seneca Partners has today backed Foodpack Limited in its acquisition of the trade and assets of Kapak Foods Limited from its administrators, FRP Advisory LLP.

The St Helens-based Kapak is a food packing specialist that counts household names in the food and beverage sector, major retailers and contract manufacturers amongst its customers. Kapak was founded 16 years ago and reported a turnover of £17m in its most recent accounts. The company had faced cash-flow difficulties, culminating in the appointment of administrators on 1 October 2015.

The joint administrators Ben Woolwyrch and Russell Cash at FRP Advisory have sold the business for an undisclosed amount to Foodpack, a new company backed by Seneca Partners, the investment and corporate advisory firm led by Manchester-based financier Ian Currie. Foodpack has also been supported with a refinancing package from Secure Trust Bank.

The investment and support package from Seneca Partners and Secure Trust Bank amounts to some £7.5m and secures the 150 jobs associated with Kapak. The ongoing business will continue to trade from the same premises in St Helens.

Alistair Marsden and Anthony Hitchen, both experienced food industry professionals, have joined as senior directors and will sit on the board of Foodpack Limited.

The business moved to its current 80,000 sq. ft. food production unit in 2013 and its workforce includes product development staff, food and packaging technologists and food production professionals.

Ben Woolrych, joint administrator, said:

“We’re delighted to have secured the future of this key North West business, preserving the 150 jobs and providing continuity of supply for its loyal customer base. We wish Foodpack Limited and everyone involved in it every success for the future.”

Tim Murphy and Richard Manley who worked on the deal for Seneca Partners, commented: “We’ve introduced a team in Alistair and Anthony who are respected throughout the food industry and who can drive the business forward, building on its undoubted strengths. We have every confidence in the potential to develop Foodpack in the sector. We managed to complete this transaction in a very short timescale thanks to the support of Secure Trust Bank and our legal team at Napthens.”

Alistair Marsden, whose previous roles include managing director at two food production companies in the North West, commented:

“The business has a committed and skilled workforce, supported by a strong management team, which when combined with state of the art production facilities creates a strong base from which to support existing customers and grow the business. We are excited about the future for Foodpack and are looking forward to working with the existing team and customers.”

Richard Robinson, Sharon Harrison and Jane Haymes of Napthens acted for Seneca. David Green of Secure Trust Bank Plc provided working capital, asset finance and term debt.

Tim Murphy, Richard Manley, Connor Grimes and John Davies worked on the deal for Seneca.

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