West Cornwall Pasty Company has been rescued out of administration by a new investment fund, for an undisclosed sum.
The Gresham Private Equity-backed chain was placed into administration with PriceWaterhouseCoopers late last Friday – with the closure of 28 stores and 90 jobs.
Now, Enact, a £7.5m fund by the private equity house Endless, has agreed to buy 35 West Cornwall Pasty Company outlets and stores, together with the brand.
The investment in West Cornwall Pasty Company is the first completed by Enact and comes just three months after the fund’s launch. Enact has been supported in the transaction by Sankaty Advisors.
Gresham is no longer involved in the chain and it is believed its new owners are in the process of reviewing the company’s management team.
Enact plans to invest “significant capital” in refreshing the brand, product innovation and investment in the store estate, including the opening of new stores at strategic locations.
Chris Cormack, investment director at Enact, joins West Cornwall Pasty Company’s board and will support its existing management team. Enact is also in advanced discussions to appoint an experienced executive chairman to the company to shape and execute the new strategy.
Cormack said: “This deal marks an exciting new chapter for West Cornwall Pasty Company. The business has struggled to cope with the effects of the pasty tax and a number of underperforming outlets.
“Fundamentally, West Cornwall Pasty Company is a market-leading brand, loved by millions of customers, and we are delighted this transaction takes the brand and business forward whilst preserving more than 200 jobs.”
Enact was advised by Simon Pilling and James Cook of Gordons.