US-based group Hain Celestial has announced plans to acquire Clarks UK.
The sweetener supplier is being sold for an undisclosed sum.
Welsh business sold
Clarks are based in Newport in South Wales, and are known for manufacturing syrup and honey-based products. Their ranges include maple syrup, honeys, carob fruit syrup, dessert sauces, date syrups, and agave syrups.
The sweeteners are sold to those in food manufacturing jobs, foodservice companies, and large retailers which stock them for public purchase.
Clarks achieved total net sales of around £7 million last year. This has obviously made them an appealing enough purchase, and Hain Celestial are expecting them to be accretive to their earnings in the fiscal year 2019.
Irwin Simon is the founder, president, and CEO of Hain Celestial. He spoke about being excited for the journey ahead, which will involve expanding brand development across the UK and Europe.
“The Clarks brand and products are a strategic fit with the Hain Daniels spreads business for various natural sweeteners applications to complement our health and wellness portfolio of brands as consumers continue to seek to reduce their sugar intake and look for better-for-you alternatives to refined sugar,” he said.
UK branch positive
Hain Daniels is the UK’s subsidiary of Hain Celestial. James Skidmore, the CEO, was positive about the opportunities for the brand to develop in the natural sweeteners niche.
“The strength of the Clarks brand puts it in a strong position to capitalise on the growing consumer trends towards more natural and healthier foods,” he said.
“This is a significant milestone for Clarks natural sweeteners and will deliver extra investment to help drive and expand the brand,” said the founder and managing director of Clarks, Bob Clark. “I will stay on with the business in a consultative role. We’re very much looking forward to working with the Hain Daniels team to continue our growth in new and existing customers.”
Clarks are the best-selling maple syrup and natural sweetener company in the UK. They sell products such as Clarks Runny Honey, Clarks Pure Canadian Maple Syrup, and Golden Brown Syrup, to name just a few.
UK employment opportunities
It’s unclear whether there will be plans to expand production and introduce new food recruitment to grow the workforce, but all signs seem positive so far. There are currently more than 30 people employed at the Newport factory, which would be an obvious area for growth.
Clarks stocks plenty of retailers in the UK, including Lidl, Ocado, Tesco, Sainsburys, Co-op, Morrisons, and Asda.
Hain Celestial owns a number of other recognisable brands. These include Ella’s Kitchen, Linda McCartney Foods, and Gale’s Honey – which means they do already have experience in the syrups and honeys sector. They have production sites around North America, the UK, Belgium, Austria, France, and Germany.
This is not their first move of the year. Back in February, Hain Daniels acquired Yorkshire Provender for what was, again, an undisclosed fee. They are clearly keen to make moves and continue to invest in the food sector both at home and in the UK.
This could be a great opportunity for the Clarks brand to grow and spread. The small workforce could soon be working overtime to get orders fulfilled, especially if the team at Hain are able to get them new markets in other countries.
This is a definite positive for the UK market, proving beyond a doubt that investors from outside have not been scared off by the spectre of Brexit looming over the UK economy. As the divorce date grows nearer, investment will hopefully continue to increase.