BUSINESS OVERVIEW

Orbis Partners advised on the sale of Richard Wellock & Sons (“Wellocks”), to William Jackson Food Group Limited (“William Jackson”) for an undisclosed strategic price. Orbis worked with the shareholders over a period of two years to understand the business and prepare it for sale.

Established in 1962, Wellocks supplies a range of high-quality fruit, vegetables, dairy, meat and dried store ingredients to a national customer base of Michelin star restaurants, premium casual dining chains, 5* hotels and premier league football clubs. Wellocks, which employs around 470 people nationwide, operates from four strategically placed business units and makes over 6,000 nationwide deliveries a week via its own fleet of temperature-controlled vehicles.

Wellocks has experienced strong growth over the last 5 years with annual turnover in excess of £50m. The Company has become a partner of choice for Michelin star chefs across the UK as a result of its premium product range, bespoke pre-prep service, in-house development kitchen and speed of supply.

William Jackson Food Group is a diversified food group supplying retail and foodservice markets through brands including Abel & Cole, The Food Doctor and MyFresh. The group previously owned Aunt Bessie’s which was sold recently in a deal worth an estimated £210 million.

We’re really excited to be joining a family business which understands what Wellocks is all about and has family values very similar to our own. Orbis’ advice and guidance throughout the process has been invaluable and has helped to deliver an excellent result.

James Wellock, Managing Director and Shareholder

OUR ROLE

Orbis worked with the shareholders over a two-year process to understand the key value drivers and help prepare the business for sale. Using our knowledge of the food & beverage market, we identified and approached a small selection of strategic buyers. William Jackson, a £300m+ turnover diversified food group, was chosen as the preferred buyer due to the strategic price offered and the cultural fit between the two companies.

Specifically, Orbis:

  • Prepared a detailed information memorandum presenting the key highlights of the business.
  • Helped analyse the key value drivers of profitability for the business over an 18 month period.
  • Provided initial advice on the optimum tax structure for the transaction.
  • Created competitive tension in the bidding process by identifying a selection of strategic buyers.
  • Led the preparation and review of the financial due diligence on behalf of the shareholders.
  • Provided commercial advise on all aspects of the legal documents.
  • Helped project manage the deal to completion whilst co-ordinating all other professional advisors.

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