Orbis Partners has advised the Unsworth Family on their majority investment in Geary’s Bakeries (Geary’s), the UK’s number one artisanal craft bakery, in a deal supported with finance from Natwest and Lombard.

Orbis was retained as the exclusive corporate finance advisors to the Unsworth Family over an 18-month period, helping to originate and invest in high-quality food manufacturing businesses. Geary’s was identified as a superior investment opportunity due to the Company’s reputation supplying award-winning artisan breads and it’s unique market position. The Orbis team, led by Partner Gary Ecob and Associate Director Steve Nock, acted as lead advisors on the deal.

Geary’s was established in 1906 and has remained family-run throughout four generations. The business recently received £15m of investment in 2018 to support the development of a new, purpose-built factory in Leicester to keep pace with the exponential growth demand of its biggest customer, Aldi. Geary’s introduced the now-famous bloomer to the category and now supply a range of award-winning loaves and sourdough breads to supermarket retailers as well as food manufacturers. Geary’s bake over one million individual loaves and rolls a week using the bakery’s own secret strain of sour culture, created over 40 years ago.

Owner Jason Geary has retained a significant equity stake in the Company and will remain in his current role as Managing Director following the Unsworth Family’s investment. The Unsworth Family previously owned and ran the Aimia Foods business prior to selling to Cott Corporation in 2014. Gary and Ian Unsworth founded the Aimia Foods business in 1981, whilst Gary’s son Rob ran the business as Managing Director from 2008.

With their experience in the food and consumer sector, Orbis identified a number of high-quality businesses with the attributes we were looking for. Geary’s is a fantastic investment opportunity due to its focus on quality artisan products and Jason’s ambitious plans for the company. We are excited to work with Jason and the team at Geary’s to help continue the business’ growth.

Rob Unsworth, Former Managing Director of Aimia Foods, who will take on the role of Chairman at Geary’s

Geary’s has always focused on quality, which has been demonstrated by the thousands of awards we have won over the years. I am looking forward to working in partnership with the Unsworth family as we take Geary’s into the future together.

Jason Geary, Owner of Geary's Bakeries

We’ve admired Geary’s for a number of the years and believe the attributes of the business fit perfectly with the Unsworth Family’s investment strategy. We’ve enjoyed working with Geary’s and the Unsworth Family over the last 18 months and are delighted to have concluded a deal that works for all parties. I am excited to see the next stage of Geary’s journey.”

Gary Ecob, Partner at Orbis Partners

Funding was provided by Ken Feast at Natwest and Carl Norman at Lombard.

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The statutory directors of Orbis Partners Ltd are Chris Gregory, James Grenfell, Gary Ecob and Shah Zaki.