Another Sweet Deal for Livingstone

  • abr. 2007

Recently floated AIM group Zetar Plc acquired Kinnerton Group, a
leading UK manufacturer of novelty and niche chocolate
confectionary, for a consideration of approximately £32

Kinnerton, which was established in 1978, manufactures a wide range
of ‘novelty’ chocolate products including Easter eggs,
advent calendars and chocolate miniature figures and
‘niche’ chocolate products including walnut whips and
chocolate lollipops. Many of its products are marketed under well
known licenses including Disney characters, the Teletubbies,
Barbie, Bob the Builder, the Simpsons and Shrek 2.

Kinnerton also manufactures and sells own-label brands of chocolate
and specialty biscuits which it supplies to major UK retailers
including Asda, Marks & Spencer, Sainsburys, Tesco, Waitrose
and Woolworths. In the year ended April 2004, the Group generated
sales of circa £42.1 million and operating profits of circa
£3.5 million.

Clive Beecham, Kinnerton’s Group Managing Director explains:
“The Livingstone team played a key part in seeing this deal
through, in terms of expertise, moral support and suasion. I have
much to be grateful to them for”.

Zetar Plc’s Chief Executive Ian Blackburn commented:
“Livingstone doggedly pursued the best interests of their
client, whilst maintaining a good understanding of the purchaser’s
objectives, thus playing a major role in bringing the deal to a
satisfactory conclusion for all parties”.

Mark Watts, of Marwyn Capital Ltd, who acted as financial adviser
to Zetar, and was instrumental in raising the funds for the AIM
listed cash- shell, adds: “Livingstone provided invaluable
advice to the Vendors and I doubt whether we as the Purchaser would
have completed the deal had they not been involved”.

Livingstone’s team was led by Simon Cope-Thompson and Nuala
Higgins, who is a member of its dedicated Food and Beverage team.
The team has been particularly active in the confectionery and
snack food sector recently, having also advised on the sale of 3i
backed Halo Foods Ltd to Glisten Plc in December 2004 for a total
consideration of approximately £14 million.

As Simon Cope-Thompson, Partner at Livingstone says: “We are
delighted to have advised Clive and his fellow shareholders on the
deal and to have been able to introduce Ian Blackburn to Marwyn in
the first instance. Zetar has an exciting future ahead of it and we
believe it is well placed to grow through other suitable
acquisitions in the UK and overseas”.

Simon Cope-Thompson, Partner
Tel: 020 7484 4706

Nuala Higgins
Tel: 020 7484 4724

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