Innovative Bites Acquires Hancocks

The fast-growing confectionery importer and wholesaler Innovative Bites has acquired Hancocks Holdings (Hancocks), the UK’s leading supplier of wholesale sweets, from H2 Equity Partners and management in a deal reportedly worth around £100m.

The combined group will boast a sales team of over 150, selling to over 40,000 customers and offering more than 7,000 confectionery products.

Founder and owner of Innovative Bites, Vishal Madhu, said: “Our acquisition of Hancocks aligns with our aspirations to significantly grow Innovative Bites’ scale in the UK and across Europe. Our businesses are highly complementary and differentiated in our products, geography and approach, so we are hugely excited about our combined potential.”

He added: “The transaction allows Innovative Bites to combine our best-in-class manufacturing and high-quality confectionery range with Hancocks unparalleled route to market.”

Mark Watson, Hancocks exiting Chairman, commented: “Hancocks adds to IB a successful management team that have developed a strong product and customer base. Combine this with IB’s American range and Bonds of London’s flexible packaging facility, and it will be a unique proposition in the confectionery category.”

Specialising in the wholesale of confectionery to independent retailers and other businesses, Hancocks offers in excess of 5,000 branded and own label products across 20 cash & carry depots.

This is the second major acquisition for Innovative Bites in the last 12 months. In April 2016, it purchased Bonds of London, one of the UK’s oldest confectionery businesses, and has since doubled its annual turnover.

Since launching in the UK 2008, Innovative Bites has expanded its business rapidly and now boasts over 3,500 products and 7,000 retail customers. It has several house brands, including Bonds of London and Baking Buddy ‘Mega Marshmallows’ – as well as exclusive distribution brands like Twinkies, Warheads and Trolli.