23 August 2019
Taylor Wessing has advised Rutland Partners on its acquisition of Hereford Contract Canning (HCC).
HCC is the second largest contract canning provider in the UK and is differentiated by its focus on low to medium sized batch runs of drinks with complexities in mixing, blending and canning for a wide range of domestic and international customers targeting the UK consumer market.
As part of the acquisition, Rutland have added to the management team with the introduction of Julian Aitken as CEO and Robert Leechman as Non-Executive Chairman, both of whom will work alongside the existing team and the Founders of HCC, John Hibberd and Paul Burton, who remain shareholders in the business.
The acquisition is the eighth investment for Rutland Fund III.
The team was led by private equity partner Ed Waldron with support from senior associate Jonny Bethell and associates Nick Karangizi and Emma Casemore (Private Equity) with senior associates Mark Brewer and Suzy Penney, associate Luc Swietochowski and trainee Nell Cooper (Private Equity) providing additional assistance.
Banking advice was provided by senior counsel Fiona Coady and associate Kate Bowden (Banking and Finance). Partner Sian Skelton and her team (Commercial Technology and Data) advised on certain aspects of the separation of HCC from its sister company.
Senior counsel James Stewart and associate Will Egan (Tax and Incentives) advised on the tax aspects of the transaction, while partner Ann Casey and her team (Tax and Incentives) advised in relation to the option-holder process.
Commenting on the transaction, private equity partner Ed Waldron said: "In a growing UK market for canned drinks, Rutland's investment in HCC is an exciting opportunity to expand and deliver organisational transformation. This deal allowed us to display the breadth of expertise we have across our firm for a long-standing and valued client. We look forward to continuing to work with Rutland for many more years to come."
David Wardrop, Partner at Rutland said: “We are delighted to have completed our investment in HCC. The team at Taylor Wessing provided great support in helping to achieve this and we enjoyed working with this high quality team throughout a complex transaction."