HURST advises on sale of The Sun Valley nut company to Zertus
A team at HURST has advised The Sun Valley Nut Company on its sale to Germany-headquartered food group Zertus.
Sun Valley, based in Bromborough, Wirral, was founded in 1949 and was owned by the Hacking family.
It is a supplier of high-quality peanut and nut-based snacking products through the private label, food service and food ingredients channels.
The company supplies nuts, peanut butters and crisps under its own ‘The Sun Valley Nut Co’ and ‘Nuts For’ brands, which complements the capabilities and expertise within the existing Zertus Snacking and Chocolate Market Unit.
The HURST team who advised Sun Valley comprised Ben Bradley, an associate partner in HURST Corporate Finance, James Thompson and Sarah Haley of our tax team and Jo Gibson and Neil Jackson from our digital team.
Ben said: “It’s been a pleasure advising the Hacking family and management on the disposal of Sun Valley to Zertus. Sun Valley has a fantastic heritage and reputation in the market for its high-quality nut-based products.
“From the outset, it was clear that Zertus was a strong fit for the business, and we recognise the immediate benefits and opportunities that the transaction provides to both companies.
“We wish the Hacking family all the very best for the future and look forward to seeing Sun Valley flourish under new ownership.”
The acquisition positions Zertus at the forefront of the snacking and confectionery industry, by building on its already substantial portfolio of customer branded ranges for the UK’s leading retailers.
The acquisition complements its successful brand portfolio which includes NOMO, the UK’s number one free-from chocolate brand, Baileys Chocolates, children’s snacking brand The Fruit Factory, Forest of Hope, the recently-launched kids fair trade chocolate brand, Kinnerton Confectionery and Lir Chocolates.
Paul Tripp, CEO Zertus UK & Ireland, who has recently also joined the international Zertus GmBH management board as managing director, led the transaction for the company.
He commented: “This is a strong acquisition for Zertus in the UK and one that complements our existing businesses in the healthier snacking sector. It will allow us to leverage our combined innovation and operational competencies to drive growth through exciting new products while enabling us to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations.”
Sun Valley Nut Company chairman Jim Hacking said: “We believe that in Zertus we have found the right long-term owner for the business. We’re confident that Zertus can make the necessary investments needed to take the business to the next level whilst preserving the heritage of the Sun Valley business we have lovingly built over the last 72 years.”
Sun Valley has three well-invested operational facilities spread across two sites in Bromborough, which Zertus will take over operations for, with production of Sun Valley to continue on-site.
The deal was the second in the food sector for the HURST team this month. Ben and HURST Corporate Finance colleague Lauren Roberts advised buy-and-build speciality food group Panicium on its acquisition of Sheffield-based Binghams Food Limited at the start of November.
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