Established more than 25 years ago, Solent Global is a leading provider of branded, licensed and white-label products to the consumer sector in the UK and several international markets. The Dorset-headquartered company, which has operations in the UK, China, Hong Kong, South Africa, Vietnam and Australia, manufactures an innovative portfolio of health and beauty, household, impulse snacking and general merchandise products for retailers including Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Costco and Waitrose. FRP had advised Solent on two previous transactions, and was approached by the company to act as lead advisor on its sale to Swedish multinational Humble AB.
The FRP team prepared a focused information memorandum and ran the management presentation process to obtain an indicative offer from Humble. COVID-19 travel restrictions limited the opportunity for interaction between the two management teams. However, a face-to-face meeting was arranged in Denmark – one country both parties could access – which proved to be a key negotiation meeting where the letter of intent was agreed. Humble is a listed business on Swedish Nasdaq and also needed to undertake fundraising to support the acquisition, but the multimillion pound deal was still completed in 10 weeks, from first informal offer to closure.
The completed deal will enable Humble to expand the reach of its products into the UK through the 100 per cent acquisition of Solent, with a total purchase price amounting to a maximum of £117 million (a fixed sum of £81.9 million alongside deferred consideration and earn-outs). Both businesses are expected to merge their sales networks following the deal, which will see the combined group operate businesses and distribution in more than 10 markets globally.
The maximum total purchase price paid by Humble AB for Solent.