Ireland’s leading snacks producer gets a cash injection to push forward ambitious growth plans

According to Richard Kennedy, Group CEO and Managing Director of Rose Confectionery, having experienced considerable growth over the past few years, the time had come for the 30-year-old company to seek a boost.

“Melior Equity Partners is the right team to help us deliver the next phase of our ambitious growth plans and we are delighted to have secured them as investors in our business,”Kennedy said.

“After more than 30 years of activity and having experienced very strong growth in recent years to reach 40 million euros in turnover, we knew that it was the right time to seek additional investments to help us to continue this growth.”

Founded in 1983, Rose operates in three separate divisions – Rose Manufacturing, Rose Confectionery and Rose UK – and is Ireland’s leading manufacturer of mallow and wafer products. The Dublin-based company has long-term licensing agreements with Slush Puppie, Vimto, Robinsons, Swizzels and Chupa Chups, done at its 18,000 square foot facility in Edenderry in County Offaly.

The right fit

Kennedy added that Rose has built its business with a constant focus on new product innovation, its global product sourcing capabilities and its extensive distribution network across Ireland and the UK covering most major retailers and convenience stores.

“It was very important to us to have the right partner with the right person who would recognize and respect the leading company and brand that we have created,” he said.

“We are very proud of our company, our culture and especially our employees for whom this is good news, opening up exciting career development opportunities.

The decision to partner with Melior was driven by the team’s track record of helping grow similar Irish food businesses including Lily O’Brien’s and Carroll Cuisine.

Rose is the third investment from Melior Equity Partners Fund II, backed by a blue-chip pool of local and international investors including The Carlyle Group, the European Investment Fund, Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, Bank of Ireland and AIB. The scope and nature of its investors provide Melior with significant capacity to finance transactions of any size on the Irish market.

The undisclosed investment will be used to expand the Rose team, pursue international sales opportunities and facilitate new category growth.

Exciting plans for the future

“We have made great strides in the UK over the past 15 years working with a range of leading brands and developing a position as a pre-eminent innovator across several categories, including confectionery and freezing in particular,”said Steven Watt, MD of Rose Marketing UK.

“We have exciting plans for the future and our partnership with Melior will significantly strengthen our business growth strategy.”

Rose’s leadership will remain unchanged, led by Kennedy. Steven Watt and Phelim Daly, MD of Rose Manufacturing, will remain in their current roles and as significant shareholders. Melior co-founder Peter Garvey and chief executive Jonathan Dalton will join the board of directors as part of the transaction.

“We are delighted to partner with Richard and his team who have built Rose into a very successful confectionery and deep-freeze business with a unique set of licensing relationships, huge distribution channels and a large customer base including supermarkets, discounters, convenience stores and wholesalers,”says Dalton.

“Thanks to its consistent focus on innovation, the business has grown over 20% annually and we believe we can help Rose’s team continue their impressive growth trajectory.

“Rose is making a significant investment in its manufacturing capabilities in Edenderry and we will invest to expand the portfolio of licenses and product categories.”

Melior was advised by PWC, McCann Fitzgerald, KPMG and Food Strategy Associates, while Rose was advised by Grant Thornton and Addelshaw Goddard.

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