Seabrook lattice crisps

Seabrook Crisps has expanded its export reach with a contract to supply Aldi in Australia.

The Yorkshire crisp brand has focused on growing overseas sales since the management team, led by CEO Jonathan Bye, took over the business in a £35m MBO backed by private equity firm LDC in 2015.

The latest export deal to supply Aldi, which has 470 stores in Australia, follows on from wins with Lulu Hypermarket in the United Arab Emirates, Monoprix in France, Carrefour in Spain, 7-11 in Hong Kong and Walmart in China.

Seabrook is now in 15 countries and expects revenues generated overseas to make up 4% of its £30m annual by the end of the financial year.

“Successful exporting requires long-term commitment and our aim for the next five years is to deliver 10% of revenue through exports,” said Kevin Butterworth, marketing and international sales director. “The latest retail deal with Aldi in Australia is a significant step forward and keeps us on target to achieve 4% revenue in exports by April 2018.

“We wanted to export for some time and the backing and support of LDC has helped us achieve this. We have recently injected £4m into upgrading our factory, giving us what we needed in terms of increased capacity, flexibility to provide shorter product runs for international markets and to reinforce packaging to extend shelf life from four to 11 months as the export market requires.”

Seabrook and LDC hired corporate advisors at US investment bank Houlihan Lokey in March to explore options at the business, including an exit for the private equity firm.

Senior LDC director Ged Gould added: “Seabrook Crisps is a quintessential British brand and the contract with Aldi Australia is the latest in a string of international deals the business has secured over the past two years. This is not only representative of the demand for ‘made in the UK’ products, but more importantly the quality and variety of the Seabrook Crisps range.

“Since partnering with Seabrook in 2015, we’ve worked closely with the management team to support and help deliver its growth ambitions. International growth has been a key part of this and we’re looking forward to supporting the business as it continues its expansion overseas.”