Framptons supplies its oat drink to foodservice markets

Contract manufacturer Framptons has secured its future after being taken over by a Swedish investment company.

Gothenburg-based Profura acquired the milk and plant-based drinks co-packer for an undisclosed sum and plans to establish the business as a leading player in the oat milk market in the UK.

Framptons majority shareholder and CEO Ian Harvey, who led an MBO in 2014 and is the grandson of the company’s founder George Frampton, left the business following the deal, along with MD Will Martin and director Allan Staples. All three will continue to hold advisory roles.

The newly formed board comprises of members from Profura and Framptons, and the business will be run by Andrew Rimell as managing director.

“The acquisition of Framptons represents a significant milestone for Profura,” said Profura Group owner Bernt Ivarsson.

“With our strong financial foundation and vast industry experience, we are well-positioned to rejuvenate Framptons, aligning it with our vision of sustainable and innovative growth.”

Framptons drafted in recovery specialist Resolve earlier this year – as revealed by The Grocer – to help it source investment or a new owner after soaring cost inflation and other supply chain challenges pushed the group into the red.

Accounts at Companies House at the time also raised material doubts on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern in the long term, given liabilities of £5.2m and the reliance on debts, with an invoice finance facility of £6.5m due for renewal last year and Covid loans of £800k and a £600k term loan.

However, the acquisition by Profura ends months of uncertainty for the business.

Somerset-headquartered Framptons, which employs about 250 staff, can trace its history back to 1898 when it started as an egg wholesaler. It later moved into processing pasteurised dried and frozen egg products and has been supplying the major foodservice operators with liquid egg in cartons since the 1990s.

The majority of the business now trades in contract bottling milk and plant-based products for the likes of Müller, Delamere Dairy and Mighty Pea, as well as wholesalers and the foodservice industry.

Profura primarily invest in Swedish, unlisted companies, but said the Framptons acquisition was aligned with its strategy to invest in companies with “a sound core business” and “high potential” for growth.

Framptons will be owned by Provator, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Profura group that specialises in turnaround cases.

Accounts filed this month for the year ended 30 June 2022 revealed Framptons increased revenues by 33.2% to £50.1m as it experienced a 36% jump in contract pack sales and a 21% rise in egg product sales.

It helped the group reduce pre-tax losses slightly to £812k.

The company expected to remain lossmaking in the 2022/23 financial year but added it had moved into profitability in the first quarter of 2023/24.