Maven makes profitable exit from fresh produce distributor Oliver Kay

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Maven's Manchester team has led the sale of its investment in Oliver Kay Holdings Limited to Bidfresh Limited, part of the Bidvest Group with a 2.4x return.

Published: Nov 14, 2012
Focus: Growth Capital

Maven's Manchester team has led the sale of its investment in Oliver Kay Holdings Limited (OKHL) to Bidfresh Limited, part of the Bidvest Group. The exit has realised a return of 2.4x the original investment for Maven clients.

OKHL is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of high quality fresh produce to the catering and leisure sectors, and has an extensive client base. Operating from a 44,000 sq ft high specification refrigerated warehouse in Bolton, and with a delivery network covering much of the UK, the company has successfully built a reputation for the quality and range of its products as well as for the high level of service it provides.

With a team of specialist buyers, offering a wealth of experience in sourcing the best fresh produce available, OKHL has developed long-term relationships with a range of UK and overseas growers and importers. This has enabled the business to guarantee a consistent supply of high quality produce to customers and has resulted in a high level of daily repeat business. Recognised as a trusted brand, the business has achieved significant national growth, propelling it to the position of 5th largest fresh produce supplier in the UK food service industry.

Maven originally invested in 2007 and has worked with the management team to help expand the business and maintain the focus on service levels and customer retention. OKHL has delivered year on year growth during Maven’s involvement and has been able to weather the recession by diversifying into the contract catering and education sectors which benefit from consistent and predictable order requirements.

The exit from OKHL is the fourth profitable private equity exit for the Maven team in 2012.

Jonty Hall, Investment Manager at Maven said: “Oliver Kay had clearly defined strategic goals and with Maven’s help has continued to go from strength to strength. The business has expanded its operations into the Midlands and the South East through opening satellite depots in Birmingham and London, establishing itself as a credible alternative to the larger operators in the market. The sale to the Bidvest Group allows the company to take advantage of new growth opportunities, and provides an excellent return for Maven investors.”

Oliver Kay, Managing Director at Oliver Kay commented: “I am very proud of the success of the business and the journey we have taken in expanding the customer base and product offering and I thank the staff for their passion and contribution in achieving this success. Maven has been an excellent partner for the business, providing valuable support during this growth phase. I look forward to working with the Bidvest Group in the future and embarking on the next chapter for the business.”

Posted in:
Growth Capital

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