New home for major company
RYEDALE will become the home of a major new company with more than 5,000 employees across the UK.
Endless, the private equity house, completed the acquisition of Vion’s pork business last week and is moving the head office from West Lothian to Norton.
The pork business operates from eight sites in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, including Malton bacon factory on Norton Grove Industrial Estate.
The deal, believed to be worth £50m, is the biggest yet for Endless, which specialises in turning around struggling companies.
Managing partner Garry Wilson explained why he wanted to bring the £560m-turnover business to the region.
“One of the things that differentiates Endless is that we are based in Yorkshire,” he said. “Ninety five per cent of my industry is based in London.
“Our investors love the fact that we are based in what they would call the industrial heartland of the UK. They love the fact that we are not in the financial centre.
“It is very tempting for large companies to base their headquarters in London – that’s where their investors are.
“We want our companies close to us. In private equity there are statistics that show there is a direct link between the return from your portfolio and how close the businesses are to your offices.
“It is a simple thing but the more time you spend at your business, the more support you give your management teams, the better that company performs and the better the return you have in your portfolio.
“We have a strong meat tradition in this county and it’s the perfect headquarters for us.”
Mr Wilson said that Endless plans to invest £10m to help improve the fortunes of the business.
He added: “There are opportunities to grow the customer base and grow the top line.
“We believe there are opportunities to run it more efficiently and are looking at operational improvements.
“We have capital expenditure plans at several sites to bring facilities up to date and that in turn will improve the margins and bottom line.”
The pork business was loss-making until Vion closed its sausage, haggis and black pudding factory in Glasgow. The site was said to be losing £750,000 a week.
Endless completed the deal without bank funding, providing both equity and debt in the transaction.
Cllr Di Keal, the Mayor of Norton, said: “The relocation of the company headquarters to Norton is excellent news for the staff at Vion, the farmers that supply the factory and the local community.
“In the current economic climate it is brilliant to see an organisation investing in the future of such a vital employer in the area and I wish them every success in their aim to expand the business even further. This is very welcome new year good news for Norton.”
Endless revealed it is also in talks with Vion about buying its poultry and red meat divisions.
The Dutch Vion group is exiting the UK to focus on its core food activities in the Netherlands and Germany and its global ingredients business.
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Weather for Malton
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 7 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North