Adrian Gott, the well-known Lancashire businessman, has acquired the Stonegate Group with which he has had a long standing association.
Adrian, whose business interests have included being an egg producer in his own right, comes from a family who has been involved in the poultry industry for over a century. He originally worked for the Stonegate Group as a graduate trainee and was then instrumental in setting up what is now one of the leading premium egg brands in the UK market, Clarence Court, still a key part of the Stonegate Group.
Whilst Stonegate is a major egg producer in its own right it is also the second largest egg packer in the UK. It is a leading supplier to UK supermarkets, including Waitrose.
All of the Stonegate products are either free range or organic eggs. The business was previously owned by Pam and Richard Corbett who retain the colony egg operation now known as Ridgeway Foods which left the Stonegate Group last year.
Adrian was advised throughout the transaction by John Wilson and Kate Parker from Baines Wilson LLP and by Stephen Gregson and Rachel Marsdin from Moore and Smalley.
Adrian commented: – ‘I am very excited about the acquisition and very proud to be the owner of what I regard as the premium egg producer and packer in the UK. It has an excellent management team and a superb supplier and customer base who are all committed to the fantastic range of products we provide.’
John Wilson said – ‘We have been delighted to assist Adrian with the legal work relating to this acquisition. It is an excellent business as things stand but I’m absolutely sure that Adrian will continue to improve the business and put his own individual stamp on it.’
Rachel Marsdin added: – ‘We are delighted to have been able to provide the corporate due diligence and also taxation advice in relation to the acquisition. It is a tremendous opportunity for Adrian but also very good for Stonegate in that it has found a new owner who is so knowledgeable and experienced in the egg business.’
The business’s main packing operation is based in Lacock, Wiltshire and its egg producers are mainly found in the South-West of England, Wales and Lincolnshire.
Adrian added: – ‘For someone who was educated in Lancaster and has lived in the Lancaster area for most of my life, I was really pleased to use quality, local professional advisors who are based in Lancaster. The easiest thing for me to have done would have been to go to one of the major legal and accountancy firms in Manchester or London but I believe I got advice of the highest quality from Moore and Smalley and Baines Wilson.