Jam firm acquired

Canadian firm to invest in Mackays after takeover

Martin Grant: this deal enables us to look to the future

Jam manufacturer Mackays has been acquired by a Canadian firm which has provided vital external finance required by the Arbroath-based company.

Toronto-headquartered Permian Industries, a Canadian investment holding and management company run by the Mitchell family, has taken a majority stake.

Mackays said: “In the past, the board believed the enduring nature of customer relationships and the absolute quality of the products manufactured, coupled with a long-term programme of capital investment, would enable the company to meet the challenges of the current economic environment.

“A lack of capital emerged during the year and investment had to be sought from outside sources.”

The Mitchell family owns and manages eight businesses in the food processing and distribution, agriculture, packaging, and technology industries in Canada, the US and Mexico.

They are long-term builders of businesses and have owned a few of their companies for many decades.

Martin Grant, who will remain as managing director at Mackays, said: “We are really thrilled to have the Mitchell family on board. They are committed to our long-term success.

“They understand our business, manufacturing processes, the heritage of our products and investing in family businesses.

“Building on the successes of the company, this investment will enable the company to look to the future.”

Mr Grant believes the investment can take Mackays “to the next level”. He said he hopes Mitchells helps grow the company into a “more significant brand, not just in Scotland, but around the world”.

He added: “The introduction of fresh funding from them has reduced borrowings greatly and provided working capital resources so that the company can now look forward to a bright future.”

The accounts for the year to the end of December 2022 show an increase in revenue to £18.7 million from £17m the year before. However, pre-tax losses increased to £442,165, from £258,714 in 2021.

In his strategic report, Mr Grant said: “The Covid-19 pandemic continued to cast a shadow over all businesses, large and small, and the company did not escape the long-term effects.

“This led to continuing uncertainty, due to the ongoing and developing impact of the pandemic.

“The company then had to deal with the inflationary bubble that arose coupled with the cost-of-living crisis. Pricing of both sales and purchases became extremely difficult.”

Mr Grant said the prices of materials also rocketed which had an impact on the performance of the business, which employs more than 100 staff.

“The effect of the rising prices imposed on the company had totally unforeseen adverse effects,” he said. “It made raw materials more difficult to access and much more expensive.

“The overall cost rose by 8.94%, against 3.68% last year.”

Mr Grant said the Mackays brands, which also include Mrs Bridges, were “continuing to develop in home and international markets”.

New products are in the pipeline, with development “well advanced”, he added.

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