Panoramic invests in sausage makers

Heck Foods secures £1m investment to make their Yorkshire sausages famous

Panoramic Growth Equity (“Panoramic”), a leading equity investor in fast growing, entrepreneurial UK companies, today announced that it has invested £1m of growth capital in family-run premium sausage makers Heck Foods (“Heck”), which was founded by Yorkshire farmers Andrew and Debbie Keeble.  Heck manufactures two brands of sausage – mid priced “The Harrogate Sausage Company” and its super premium “Heck” range.  Its brands are sold throughout the UK in Tesco, ASDA, Morrisons, Booths and Waitrose, and via its own website.  This marks Panoramic’s first investment in a Yorkshire based company.

The Keebles previously built the UK’s leading premium sausage brand, Debbie and Andrew’s.   At its peak, it represented 26% of the UK’s premium sausage market. Established in 1999, the business was sold to JJ Tranfield in 2005.  The Keebles founded Heck in 2012.

Heck’s production facilities are based near Northallerton in Yorkshire.  Heck is a family business with three of the second generation currently working in the business alongside Andrew and Debbie Keeble. Employing a team of twenty, the company achieved £3m revenues in its first year of operation (2013- 2014) and has forecast revenues of £6m for the current financial year.

The injection of funding from Panoramic will enable the Keeble family to build awareness of its premium sausage brands through enhanced marketing, and in turn increase sales.  Panoramic Partner Stephen Campbell will join Heck’s board

This is the sixth investment made by Panoramic in the last eighteen months.

Stephen Campbell, Partner at Panoramic Growth Equity, commented:

“Andrew and Debbie Keeble and the team at Heck have created premium sausage brands that offer consumers the very highest quality of ingredients and production with no compromises.  They have a proven ability to create brands that capture the attention of consumers and have done an excellent job in bringing their products to supermarket shelves across the UK in just two years. Having been in dialogue with them for some months, we share their vision and determination to grow their brand into the UK market leader in its space and for this reason are pleased to put £1m investment behind their growth plans.”

Andrew Keeble, founder and MD of Heck, commented:

“We were looking for investors who would not only support us and help us to take our business to next level, but who would also allow us the freedom to run our business our way.  We offer our customers the highest quality hand-made produce and production methods – it is the essence of our brands – and it is something we don’t ever wish to compromise.  Panoramic offers a bespoke approach to investing and they took time to understand our values.  They vowed never to alter our production facilities and this was really important to us. Panoramic brings a great deal of business experience, connections and financial firepower to the table but we remain in total control of our production process.  It was imperative that we were able to work with external investors in that spirit.

Advisers to the transaction were:

  • Squire Patton Boggs, led by Corporate Partner Paul Mann and assisted by Corporate Associate Craig Pettit
  • Garbutt & Elliott, Partner Richard Feltham, carried out financial due diligence
  • William Gillis of Bluefin Group Leeds carried out insurance due diligence