Wellingborough flour producer now UK market leader after buyout

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A Wellingborough company is now the UK’s market leader in its field after buying up a rival flour producer.

Wellingborough-based Whitworths Group has completed the acquisition of Carr’s Flour Mills Ltd for £36m from Carr’s Group PLC following a £96m debt refinancing from HSBC, Barclays and Santander.

This acquisition makes Whitworths Group the market leader of the UK flour market.

Established in 1886 by the Whitworth family, Whitworths Group was acquired by the current owners, the George family, in the 1930s.

Over the past decade the business has grown both organically and by acquisition to become the UK’s largest flour miller producing about 770 kilotonnes of flour per annum from six mills across five sites in the East of England.

For the financial year 2015/16, the firm generated revenue of £207m and net earnings of £13.7m.

Carr’s Flour Mills, established in 1836, is the UK’s third largest independent producer with about 245 kilotonnes of flour produced from three mills in Scotland, Cumbria and Essex.

Company secretary at Whitworths Group Simone Large said: “The acquisition of Carr’s is a key development in the long history of Whitworths Group.

“The support from our banking partners was fundamental to the success of the deal and we have been delighted with the service and overall refinance package.

“We are now focused on the successful integration of Carr’s and the growth of the wider business.”