Ainsley's food manufacturer seeks advisers for fundraising


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The Independent Online

The private equity owner of Symington's, the Leeds-based maker of Campbell's soup, has held a beauty parade of investment banks for a fundraising.

Bridgepoint Development Capital has spoken to advisers at three investment banks this month about a refinancing to help it expand 185-year-old Symington's, which has revenue of £150m and sells the products of the chef Ainsley Harriott.

The dried-food manufacturer has been managed by the smaller buy-out arm of Bridgepoint since 2009, when it acquired the portfolio of assets from Hermes Private Equity. Bridgepoint declined to comment.

Symington's made the "most significant purchase in its history" when it acquired the Chicken Tonight and Ragu brands from the consumer goods giant Unilever for an undisclosed sum in September. This was the group's second acquisition in as many months after it bought the salad crouton brand La Rochelle in July.