Investcorp exits snack company through £300m sale

The manager made 3x on its investment in Tyrrells potato and vegetable snacks, which it sold to the owner of SkinnyPop popcorn.

Alternative investment manager Investcorp has exited Crisps Topco Limited, the parent company of snack food brand Tyrrells, through a £300 million ($391 million; €353 million) sale to Amplify Snack Brands, which owns SkinnyPop.

The exit brought a 3x return for Investcorp, which acquired the potato and vegetable chip company from Langholm Capital for £100 million in 2013. Investcorp will receive £278 million in cash and 2.1 million shares of NYSE-traded Amplify’s common stock in exchange for the company.

The addition of Tyrells to Amplify’s existing line of “better-for-you” snack foods will create expansion opportunities for UK-based Tyrells, as well as the firm’s other brands, which include SkinnyPop, Paqui and Oatmega, Amplify chief executive Tom Ennis said.

“We shall be entering new territories as well as broadening our reach in existing markets,” added Topco chief executive David Milner.

Tyrells saw compound annual net sales growth of 23 percent during its time under Investcorp according to a release.

Investors have shown increasing interest in speciality health-focused packaged foods. In March, US investment firm Clearlake Capital Group announced the launch of its Better for You Holdings platform, focused on acquiring healthy food and “wellness” companies.

Investcorp provides investment and advisory services for alternative investment products including private equity, hedge funds, real estate and venture capital. It is also a private equity fund manager, according to PEI Research & Analytics.