4 Acquisition International - April 2017 News: from around the world Innovative Bites Acquires Hancocks This is the second major acquisition for the Dunstable-based confectionery importer and wholesaler in the last 12 months. In April 2016, Innovative Bites purchased Bonds of London, one of the UK’s oldest confectionery businesses, and has since doubled its annual turnover. The acquisition of Hancocks marks a major move for Innovative Bites and its largest acquisition to date. The combined group will boast a sales team of over 150, selling to over 40,000 customers and offering more than 7,000 confectionery products. Founder and owner of Innovative Bites, Vishal Madhu, said, “our acquisition of Hancocks aligns with our aspirations to significantly grow Innovative Bites’ scale in the UK and across Europe. Our businesses are highly complementary and differentiated in our products, geography and approach, so we are hugely excited about our combined potential.” He added, “the transaction allows Innovative Bites to combine our best-in-class manufacturing and high-quality confectionery range with Hancocks unparalleled route to market.” Mark Watson, Hancocks exiting Chairman said that this was a great acquisition for both businesses. He commented, “Hancocks adds to IB a successful management team that have developed a strong product and customer base. Combine this with IB’s American range and Bonds of London’s flexible packaging facility, and it will be a unique proposition in the confectionery category.” Confectionery powerhouse Innovative Bites on 12th April 2017, acquired Hancocks Holdings, the UK’s leading supplier of wholesale sweets, from H2 Equity Partners and management. Specialising in the wholesale of confectionery to independent retailers and other businesses, Hancocks offers in excess of 5,000 branded and own label products across 20 UK sites, stretching from Dundee to Portsmouth. Since launching in the UK 2008, Innovative Bites has expanded its business rapidly and now boasts over 3,500 products, 7,000 retail customers and several top-selling house brands, including Bonds of London and Baking Buddy ‘Mega Marshmallows’ - as well as exclusive distribution brands like Twinkies, Warheads and Trolli. Innovative Bites was advised on the transaction by Houlihan Lokey (M&A and debt adviser), Addleshaw Goddard and BDO.