Potato supplier Greenvale has new owners

PUBLISHED: 10:17 08 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:59 22 October 2010

One of the country's top specialist potato suppliers is poised for further growth under new private owners.

One of the country's top specialist potato suppliers is poised for further growth under new private owners.

Greenvale, which has a turnover of about £130m and employs more than 700 staff, has operations at Floods Ferry, near March, Chatteris and Wisbech.

The deal has been welcomed by Norfolk farmer Tony Bambridge, who will remain as chairman of Greenvale, as "good news for growers, staff and the business".

He said: "This will give the potential for further investment in the business because the new owners are prepared to take a long-term view."

Greenvale, which also has pre-packing operations in Shropshire and Berwickshire as well as a regional office at Honingham, near Norwich, supplies fresh potatoes and potato products.

The company supplies about 40pc of Tesco's potato tonnage and has the lion's share of organic sales and of punnet potatoes.

Mr Bambridge added: "It is also the country's largest supplier of organic potatoes, with 40pc of national production. Greenvale isn't just a one-retailer packer - it is also packing for Sainsbury's."

Greenvale, which was established more than 40 years ago, merged with Loddon-based Anglian Produce in 1999.

The group has been acquired by Produce Investment. Shareholders were offered £9 a share, valuing the group at about £11.2m.

It was owned by the company's 105 shareholders and directors, including about a dozen Norfolk farmers.

Most have maintained an equity stake in the business.

Mr Bambridge, who is managing director of BC Farming, of Marsham, near Aylsham, said the existing senior management had signed long-term agreements to stay with Greenvale.

Senior executives and staff will retain about 20pc of the business.

He said more than £4.6m had been invested in improving Greenvale's processing factories in the past year.

A new £1.6m 'field to plate' investment in the Wisbech factory to make cook-chill foods, using maris piper potatoes, was also announced earlier this year.

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