Montezuma’s chocolate founding managing directors reappointed, after company’s acquisition
A major buyout of UK-based Montezuma’s premium chocolate business, will see its founding members, Helen and Simon Pattinson return as managing directors of the business they created in West Sussex more than two decades ago, reports Neill Barston.
The move from the Paramount Retail Group, involved purchase for an undisclosed fee for the entire business from Edinburgh-based private equity company Inverleith, which had bought the company in 2018, as it continued to show a strong pattern of growth.
Its new owners, which in recent years also acquired longstanding confectionery firms Bristows of Devon, and Crawford & Tilley, have pledged to maintain the founding principles of the ethically-focused Montezuma’s, which has retained its production facilities near Chichester, West Sussex. It has gained major listings with the likes of major stores including Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, John Lewis and Selfridges retailers.
Commenting on her return as managing director, Helen Pattinson (pictured main image with her husband Simon at its West Sussex base), said: “With the backing of Paramount we shall set a strategy that will drive the business back to its previous financial success. We are confident that we can quickly restore the company to its former glory by reinstating the core values that are so close to our hearts as the business founders.
‘’We’re delighted to be part of the Paramount family and feel that this is such an exciting time for the business. We can’t wait to see what the future holds and are looking forward to sharing more delicious chocolate with you very soon.’’
As Paramount noted, its retail confectionery division is set to benefit from the acquisition and is forecast to drive further growth for both Bristow’s and Montezuma’s in delivering an extended range of products and customer base, which will allow the company to offer a broader spread of solutions to the sector.
Ravi Sharma, Executive Director at Paramount comments, “The purchase of Montezuma’s will strengthen our Confectionery Division offering instant synergies with our existing brands and manufacturing facilities ‘Bristow’s of Devon’, giving a strong presence in hard boiled, fudge, toffee, and now premier chocolate. A complete package.’
The group’s chairman, Paul Taylor noted that the acquisition was part of its wider plan of driving towards becoming a £200 million group within the next 18 months, with the move to take on brands such as Montezuma’s seen as instrumental in its operational development.