Thomas J Fudges

Adviser to Livingbridge on their investment into premium biscuit baker Thomas J Fudges.

The deal

Our Corporate Finance team has advised Livingbridge on their investment into premium biscuit, cracker and florentine baker Thomas J Fudge’s.

After 100 years of family ownership, Thomas J Fudge’s secured investment from Livingbridge in order to fund their growth plans and establish themselves as the UK’s number one premium biscuit brand. Founded in 1916 by Thomas J Fudge, the great-great-uncle of the current owners, the business originally delivered freshly-baked bread to the West Country farming community by horse and cart. However, following a change in focus in the 1980s, the bakery diversified into selling luxury biscuits and crackers using local ingredients and has since gone from strength to strength.

Today, Thomas J Fudge’s biscuits, crackers and florentines are stocked by supermarkets including Waitrose, Tesco, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer as well as selected retailers such as Fortnum & Mason and Harvey Nichols. Brothers Steve and Graham Fudge, alongside Graham’s wife Sue, currently run the business, employing 133 staff at a 32,000 square foot site in Stalbridge, Dorset. The bakery produced approximately 6.5 million biscuits per week during 2015.

“Livingbridge are backing Paul Vita and Vickie Best, currently Commercial and Operations Director respectively. Paul and Vickie will be taking an ownership role, and will run the business as joint managing directors, providing the leadership and continuity the business needs to further develop. We have had a remarkable 100 years developing our family business and are thrilled to be passing it onto Livingbridge as the guardians of our heritage with exciting plans for growth. With younger generations of the Fudge’s family focussing on their own careers, we have been looking for some time to find the right buyer for us, our colleagues and our customers and, in Livingbridge, we have found just that.” Steve Fudge of Thomas J Fudge’s.

“Thomas J Fudge’s has been on our radar for some time following their success in carving out a name for themselves in the premium biscuits market. Our investment will enable this already strong brand to continue its growth in the UK and we fully support their vision to be the UK’s No.1 premium biscuit brand. We look forward to working with Paul Vita and Vickie Best and are very excited about helping Thomas J Fudge’s achieve its growth ambitions. We were grateful for the input from the team – Clive, Ian and James – who worked tirelessly in helping Management put together a comprehensive business plan and advise Newco on its banking facilities.” Benoit Broch, Livingbridge Director.

Deal summary

Date:

April 2016

Sector:

Consumer, Retail and Leisure

Deal type:

Buying a business

Deal size:

Undisclosed

We have had a remarkable 100 years developing our family business and are thrilled to be passing it onto Livingbridge as the guardians of our heritage with exciting plans for growth. With younger generations of the Fudge’s family focussing on their own careers, we have been looking for some time to find the right buyer for us, our colleagues and our customers and, in Livingbridge, we have found just that Steve Fudge Owner of Thomas J Fudges

Related team

Clive Hatchard

Clive Hatchard

  • Partner
  • Corporate Finance
  • London West End, Reading

Ian Milne

Ian Milne

  • Partner
  • Debt Advisory
  • London West End, Reading

James Mines

James Mines

  • Partner
  • Corporate Finance
  • Reading

Related deals

23.5 Degrees

Advisers to Connection Capital on the debt recapitalisation of coffee retailer 23.5 Degrees.

  • Consumer & retail
  • July 2018