Crunch deal completes: PepsiCo has bought out Pipers Crisps

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 12 Mar 2019

PepsiCo’s multi-million pound buy-out of northern Lincolnshire’s Pipers Crisps has completed.

The undisclosed acquisition, announced last year, was cleared by regulators last month.

Now the deal has been done, with the £11.4 million turnover Elsham business joining the global giant’s stable of drinks and snacks - including UK market leader Walkers. 

Ian Ellington, general manager at PepsiCo UK, said: “I am delighted to welcome Pipers into the PepsiCo family. The brand has a strong proposition which superbly complements our existing food and drink portfolio.”

Under the terms, PepsiCo has bought the entire share capital of Pipers, set up in 2004 by entrepreneurs with farming pedigree – Simon Herring, James Sweeting and Alex Albone. It was seen as a new route to market for Lincolnshire potatoes, with ingredient provenance at the core of the business’ ethos.

It now boasts scaled up production and a contemporary head office by the A15, with 80 people employed. 

James McKinney, managing director of Pipers Crisps. 

As reported, the Competition and Markets Authority has given its blessing to the acquisition. The three founding directors and others added, have all now resigned their positions. 

In its assessment of the impact of a deal, published last month, it found the brands owned by both parties were not vying for the same customers, and that they would “continue to face sufficient competitive constraint from a number of credible competitors post-merger”.

Read more: Seventh heaven for Pipers Crisps as it is voted Britain's Best Brand again

PepsiCo has been approached for a comment on the deal, and what the future plans are. It told the CMA it was keen to “compete more effectively in the premium potato crisp segment, especially in the away from home channel,” with Pipers popular in pubs and cafes the nation over. 

The global giant, which can be traced back to a North Carolina pharmacy’s formulation of Pepsi Cola 121 years ago, makes Walkers in Leicester and Skelmersdale, with Doritos in Coventry and Quavers in Lincoln, and employs 4,500 people across 10 sites in the UK.

James McKinney, managing director of Pipers Crisps, said: “This marks an exciting new chapter for us all and we look forward to working together to accelerate the growth of the Pipers brand.”

It is understood operations will continue in Elsham, but it has not been confirmed, despite assurances being sought following the initial agreement announcement back in November. 

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