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Snack firms complete acquisition deal

LAWYERS in Milton Keynes have played their part in the acquisition of the company that manufactures Sun Valley snacks by another leading snack and confectionery business.

Zertus UK, which produces brands including Baileys Chocolates, The Fruit factory and NOMO, has completed its purchase of The Sun Valley Nut Company from the Hacking family, who founded the business in 1949. 

The deal positions Zertus at the forefront of the snacking and confectionery industry, building on its already substantial portfolio of customer-branded ranges for the UK’s leading retailers.  The acquisition complements its successful brand portfolio also comprising Kinnerton Confectionery and Lir Chocolates. 

The acquisition was led by Zertus UK & Ireland’s chief executive Paul Tripp, who has also joined the international Zertus GmBH management board as managing director. “This is a strong acquisition for Zertus in the UK and one that complements our existing businesses in the healthier snacking sector,” he said.

“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.”

Freeths director James Cowell, who led the team advising Zertus on the acquisition of The Sun Valley Nut Company

Zertus was advised by corporate lawyers at law firm Freeths in Milton Keynes. Director James Cowell, who led the Freeths team, said: “We are delighted to have advised Zertus on this strategic acquisition and wish it every success in developing the business within its wider group.

“We have enjoyed working with Paul and his other advisers in delivering a successful transaction and wish the sellers well in the future.”

Sun Valley supplies nuts, peanut butters and crisps under its own The Sun Valley Nut Co and Nuts For brands. Zertus will take over production at its three manufacturing facilities on The Wirral in Merseyside.

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 are confident that Zertus can make the necessary investments needed to take the business to the next level while preserving the heritage of the Sun Valley business we have lovingly built over the last 72 years.” 

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