Belfast Telegraph

Empire expands as Tayto snaps up failing crisp firm

Crisp maker Tayto Group has expanded its empire by snapping up the Staffordshire-based Jonathan Crisp brand.

The acquisition is the fourth deal the Tandragee-headquartered company has made in the last three years and consolidates its position as the third biggest crisp and snack business in the UK.

Jonathan Crisp supplies hand-fried crisps and vegetable crisps to hotels, pubs and delis, and is self-styled as the “crisp for snobs”.

Tayto did not disclose how much it paid for the brand but it is understood Jonathan Crisp had been close to calling in administrators ahead of the purchase.

Paul Allen, CEO of the Tayto Group said: “This is the fourth in a series of strategic purchases we have undertaken in the last three years and it has put us in a strong position to continue our growth through further acquisitions.

“As this was a distress purchase, we had to move quickly to snap-up the brand and, unusually for these circumstances, completed the deal in just one week and it is very much business as usual.

“We hope to emulate the success we have had with Golden Wonder, also at the point of collapse three years ago when we bought it and which we are now successfully re-building as a brand in Great Britain.”

Mr Allen added: “We have a very focused business plan to ensure that we are able to hold our own in the economic downturn and have introduced timely cost-saving efficiencies as part of our strategic approach.

“In addition to our core line of Tayto products, we have a wide range of other crisps and snacks including tortillas and pork scratchings. We believe that this diversity of products, which allows us to be a one-stop-shop for many of our customers, puts us in a unique position and is just one of the many benefits we can offer.”

Tayto employs around 300 people in Northern Ireland and its turnover has grown to £150m from £15m inside five years.

Its recent deals include the acquisition of the ailing Golden Wonder in February 2006, Wales-based Real Crisps in December 2007 and Red Mill Snack Foods.

Belfast Telegraph