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11 April, 2016 - 10:09 By Kate Sweeney

Clucking good deal as Crown Chicken goes for £40m

crown chicken, norfolk, grant thornton

Norfolk chicken producer Crown Chicken has been acquired by one of the UK’s largest food producers, Cranswick plc, in a £40 million deal supported by financial and business advisers Grant Thornton.

Based in Kenninghall, Crown Chicken is a leading integrated poultry producer. It breeds, rears and processes fresh chicken for a range of UK customers, alongside its own milling operation.

Revenue for Crown in 2015 was £83.8m and adjusted EBITDA was £6.6m. The business employs around 400 people.

The acquisition of Crown Chicken will enable Cranswick, which has traditionally focused on pork products, to progress its long term growth strategy of developing new product channels and continue the development of its UK poultry business.

Grant Thornton’s Central and East of England Corporate Finance team provided full advisory services to Crown Chicken’s shareholders throughout the transaction. This included negotiating with Cranswick, deal structuring and project managing the transaction through to completion.

Crown Chicken managing director David Thacker said: “This deal represents a good result for all of the key stakeholders and in Cranswick we believe we have found a good home for the business, allowing it to continue along its growth path.”

Darren Bear, partner at Grant Thornton who led the deal, added: “Crown Chicken represents an excellent fit for Cranswick. Grant Thornton has worked alongside the shareholders over a number of years and we are pleased that this relationship has resulted in a successful outcome.

“Last year the total deal volume and disclosed deal value in the UK food and beverage sector reached the highest level for five years. This positive trend is clearly reflected in the Eastern region which is home to many attractive and ambitious food and drink companies looking to fulfil their strategic ambitions.

“With a strong pipeline of deals, we are optimistic that 2016 will prove another strong year for M & A activity, not only in this sector but more widely across all markets.”

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