Orbis Advise on the Sale of Richard Wellock & Sons to William Jackson Food Group

Orbis Partners have recently completed another high-profile food service deal with the sale of Richard Wellock & Sons (“Wellocks”), to William Jackson Food Group Limited (“William Jackson”) for an undisclosed strategic price.

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.

167-year-old family business William Jackson is a £300m+ turnover diversified food group supplying into both the retail and foodservice markets through brands including online organic grocery delivery business Abel & Cole, bakery Jacksons, The Food Doctor and MyFresh.

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. I am delighted to have found a buyer who values the philosophy of Wellocks and who will help to continue its strong growth. Orbis’ advice and guidance throughout the process has been invaluable and has helped to deliver an excellent result.

James Wellock, Shareholder and Managing Director

Wellocks is a market leader in its sector and I am delighted to have concluded a deal that recognises the Company’s strategic value. With our knowledge of the sector, we were able to identify William Jackson as a strong strategic buyer given its diversified portfolio and acquisition strategy.

Gary Ecob, Partner at Orbis Partners

We are a sixth-generation family business and are delighted to be welcoming Wellocks, a business we have admired for many years, to the family. We’ve been looking to enter the fast-growing premium segment of the foodservice channel and believe Wellocks, which has itself enjoyed recent growth, has really exciting potential for the future with its great customers and really innovative suppliers.

Norman Soutar, CEO of William Jackson Food Group

As part of the deal, James Wellock will continue to work within the business. Legal advice to Wellocks was provided by DLA Piper.

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