Growth Capital Partners has sold its 40% stake in Butterkist popcorn maker Tangerine Confectionery to Blackstone Group.

In January 2006 GCP backed a £10m management buyout of Toms Confectionery, which subsequently re-branded as Tangerine. The company acquired Burton’s Confectionery in August that year and Monkhill Confectionery from Cadbury Schweppes in January 2008.

Since its buyout Tangerine has quadrupled in size, increasing its turnover from £40m to £160m. It employs 1,350 people. An exit for GCP was first touted in October, when investment bank NM Rothschild was called in to find a buyer.

Headquartered in Blackpool, Tangerine is the UK’s largest independent manufacturer of sugar confectionery and popcorn. Its brands include Butterkist popcorn, Barratt Sherbet Fountain and Dip Dabs, Henry Goode’s soft eating liquorice and Princess Marshmallows.

“Since 2005 we have worked closely with GCP and, with their support and flexible funding approach, we have been able to grow Tangerine significantly, organically and through acquisition,” said Tangerine chairman Steven Joseph.

“We are looking forward to working with Blackstone, who will help us to take the business to the next level of growth.”

The value of the latest deal was not disclosed.

Read more
Tangerine sets sights on European acquisitions (12 February 2011)
Tangerine owners could sell up (19 October 2010)