Sweet deal for Norwegian company

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Chocolatier and fudge company, County Confectionery, has been bought by a Norwegian business.

County Confectionery, which makes chocolate and fudge under the Fair & Square and Copperpot brands, has been acquired by Orkla Food Ingredients, which is headquartered in Oslo and employs about 18,000 workers.

A family-owned company established in 1983 with 95 employees, County Confectioner’s head office and production facilities are located in St Ives. It had a turnover of £8.6 million for the financial year that ended in May 2018.

Tor Osmundsen, CEO of Orlka subsidiary, NIC Enterprises, said: “County has a long history of manufacturing high-quality fudge and chocolate products. Orkla Food Ingredients and County are a good strategic fit, and the acquisition complements Orkla Food Ingredients’ position as a supplier of ingredients and accessories to the UK bakery, chocolate and ice cream market.”

Mark Brian, whose father founded County Confectionery, commented: “We have known and admired Orkla for a number of years.  This transaction gives the company the platform to continue our expansion programme and also to benefit from the resources and expertise Orkla has in the UK and beyond in delivering on a combined strategy.”

County Confectionery was assisted in the disposal by accountants, PKF Francis Clark, and law firm Murrell Associates.

The PKF Francis Clark team was led by Paul Crocker, who said: “We were pleased to play our part in this transaction for a long-standing client of the firm. We wish them all the best for what is going to be an exciting future as part of the Orkla group.”

Henry Maples of Murrell Associates added “It was a real pleasure working with David and his team on this transaction which I am sure will see the company go from strength to strength.”

Financial terms were not disclosed.