Clearly Drinks

  • Sector Soft Drinks
  • Location Sunderland
  • LTM Revenue £13.5m
  • Deal Type MBO
  • Deal Date April 2017
  • Employees 70+
  • NorthEdge Contacts Nicola McQuaid
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Regional News

13 April 2017

NorthEdge achieves 2.5x return on Fine Industries sale

NorthEdge Capital has completed the sale of its chemicals’ manufacturer Fine Industries Limited to Chinese-listed life sciences company Lianhe Chemical Technology Company Limited (Lianhetech). The transaction is NorthEdge’s fourth exit following the sale of Sumo Digital and IPOs of Accrol Group Holdings and Ramsdens Financial, and represents a 2.5x return on investment for NorthEdge Capital […]

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Business Description

Clearly Drinks is a soft drinks manufacturer, bottler and distributor operating in the fast-growing flavoured spring water sector.

Background

Based in Sunderland, Clearly Drinks specialises in sugar-free products, with brands including Perfectly Clear, 1870 Mixers, and Northumbria Spring, all of which are sourced from the firm’s on-site spring.

The business offers flexible processing for its customers, including short and long runs, available in PET and glass, and provides contract bottling services for branded drinks companies across the globe.

NorthEdge Investment Rationale

Clearly Drinks has demonstrated its ability to deliver in a rapidly growing market. The company has a skilled workforce of over 70 people and will report turnover of £13.5m in the 12 months to December 2016. As consumers become more conscious about sugary drinks, the firm is well placed to continue its expansion.

Strategy

NorthEdge has backed the existing management team led by Finn O’Driscoll and Martin Thornton. The investment will support the team on the planned investment in the plant, sales resource and to deliver a pipeline of new product development.

The deal was led by John Rastrick, Tom Rowley, and Nicola McQuaid. Rastrick said: “We are delighted to support Finn, Martin and the team as they lead Perfectly Clear into new market opportunities. As more and more health-conscious shoppers look for alternatives to calorie-packed beverages following the pending introduction of the sugar tax, the demand for sugar-free, naturally flavoured products will continue to grow. Clearly Drinks is well placed to be at the forefront of that movement, and we are looking forward to working with the firm’s experienced management team to convert the pipeline of exciting new product development opportunities in this evolving market.”

Finn O’Driscoll, CEO at Clearly Drinks, added: “NorthEdge is an experienced investor, with a strong track record of delivering strategic and operational success across regional economies. We are excited about what we can achieve together, and with a buoyant market and strong team in place, this company is poised to go from strength to strength.”