TMC and Cranswick bought in management buy-out

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Tropical Marine Centre and Cranswick Pet Products have been bought for 17m from Yorkshire-based pork supplier and sausage maker Cranswick Plc in a management buyout.

Tropical Marine Centre and Cranswick Pet Products have been bought by main board director Derek Black and TMC managing director Paul West, with other managers, to create Cranswick Pet and Aquatics Ltd.

Cranswick Plc retains a 5.5% share in Cranswick Pet and Aquatics Ltd.

Cranswick Pet Products is a leading manufacturer and distributor of wild bird food products, and Tropical Marine Centre supplies marine livestock and aquatic products to the ornamental trade.

On a day-to-day level, there will be no significant changes within Cranswick Pet and Aquatics Ltd. There will be no shift in direction or slowing in pace of the existing business plan. The management team and staff will remain the same, with no plans to cost-cut or rationalise. Even bank details will not change.

The management team has been backed by Lloyds TSB Development Capital (LDC), the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group.

John Garner, investment director and Head of LDC s Nottingham office, said: "Despite the incredibly difficult and unstable economy, Cranswick Pet and Aquatics has produced a consistently strong financial performance across both areas of its business.

"Essentially, we are backing a first-rate management team who have built a market leading business, which we believe is not only resilient to the challenging economy but is exceptionally well placed for growth."

Each trading division has performed strongly over the last few years, growing its combined turnover by 12% over 2006-2008 to achieve 39.9m of sales in 2008.

Derek Black said: "This new independence will also give us the additional focus, flexibility and funding to continue to develop the business, with new and innovative products and second-to-none service levels."