Luxury soap manufacturer Bronnley has been acquired by a management buy-in team led by former Lornamead chief executive, Leslie Barber.
The new board will be chaired by Stuart Rose, currently chairman of Hamley’s and former chief executive of Body Shop. Also part of the buy-in team is Scott Dougan, former European finance director at Revlon.
The deal will be the first step into a buy-and-build strategy of acquiring additional brands and developing the Bronnley brand for the management team.
Speaking exclusively to Marketing Week, Barber says/ “We identified target organisations that fit our base platform requirements, and Bronnley was one of those. We have bought a fully-integrated operation, including a manufacturing plant and sales forces in the UK and Germany. We will be using those as the basis to buy, license and distribute other brands for those looking for an entry point in the UK, Ireland and Germany.”
Barber has brought in interim marketing support, but is looking to recruit a full team by the end of this year at the latest.
Barber says: “From Bronnley’s perspective, it is a quintessentially British brand, but we plan to make it more relevant to today’s shoppers.”
The deal has received backing from private equity house Kaye Enterprises, which usually invests in smaller acquisitions of about 5m. Barber says that Bronnley was purchased for less than 10m.
Bronnley will continue to operate from its Brackley plant in Northamptonshire. There will be no planned job losses, but chairman Ann Rossiter, whose family founded the company in 1883, is retiring as part of the deal.