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Ilchester Cheese

In December 2004, Inflexion backed the buyout of Ilchester Cheese Company and worked closely with management to grow exports before it was bought by Tine, the largest Norwegian milk co-operative and the makers of Jarlsberg cheese, in 2008.

  • Sector

    Consumer

  • Headquarters

    Somerset, UK

  • Fund

    Buyout

  • Investment date

    December 2004 - November 2008

  • Status

    Realised

The company

Ilchester Cheese is the leading producer of blended cheese in the UK. Founded in 1962, Ilchester was the first British cheese company to blend cheeses with other ingredients. Having created the market, Ilchester has continued to innovate and today sells some 50 products within the UK and exports to over 20 countries around the world.

The Inflexion investment

Inflexion invested approximately £5.0m through a combination of ordinary shares and loan notes in the December 2004 buyout. The management team also invested significantly.

The Inflexion difference

We partnered with the management team to source and recruit a number of senior staff with the skills and experience required to take the business forward. We also supported Ilchester’s investment in exporting and new product development, helping to ensure the company was ideally positioned to attract an international buyer.

Under our ownership, Ilchester cemented its position as market leader in the UK blended cheese market, with the company achieving an 11% sales CAGR over the investment period.

We realised our investment in Ilchester in November 2008, selling the business to Tine, a Norwegian milk cooperative, generating a 2.7x return on investment.