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.
Inflexion were good to work with over our four years together. They were consistently ready to invest in developing the business and this put Ilchester in very good shape for the next phase of its future. On a day-to-day basis, Inflexion are quick and non-bureaucratic in making decisions – a great bonus when running a fast-moving business like Ilchester.
Chairman, Ilchester Cheese Company