Today, Exponent Private Equity (“Exponent”) announces that it has acquired TRS and East End Foods, two leading producers and distributors of South Asian ethnic foods in the UK and across continental Europe. The two businesses will be integrated as one Group and will continue to operate under their respective brand names.
Both TRS and East End produce and sell a range of pulses, spices, flours and Indian food ingredients, primarily through independent ethnic stores and supermarkets. Each brand has a strong reputation in the market for high-quality ingredients and authentic flavours, evidenced by the company’s loyal customer base.
TRS was founded in 1959 by TR Suterwalla, and since 1972 has been owned and managed by his five sons who successfully grew TRS into a strong spices, pulses and speciality flour business. East End was founded in Birmingham in 1972 by the Wouhra Brothers, who have successfully grown it into a strong broad-based ethnic foods business to include spices, pulses, flour, ghee.
Both brands are very well known in the UK and all over Europe.
The new business will be headquartered outside London, with a combined turnover of £300m, and led by a new management team under Chairman Rohit Samani and CEO Umesh Parmar, both former CEOs of Tilda Rice with extensive experience in ethnic foods manufacturing and distribution.
Exponent has extensive experience investing in the food and beverage sector, with its portfolio ranging from Quorn Foods, Loch Lomond and Meadow Foods. Exponent also has a track record of acquiring businesses from founders and families, such as Ambassador Theatre Group and Fintrax.
Simon Davidson, Partner at Exponent, commented: “We are pleased to welcome TRS and East End Foods to the Exponent portfolio, and excited about the opportunities to grow the business under our ownership. The underlying fundamentals for the sector are very positive, underpinned by strong growth in the demand for ethnic foods, the consumer shift towards plant-based protein, and the loyalty of the Group’s current core customers to independent ethnic stores within local South Asian communities”
Rohit Samani, Chairman of the Group, said: “TRS and East End are leading heritage brands within the South Asian ethnic foods sector, and a combination of the two businesses is as a logical next step in the evolution of the industry. I am confident that these fantastic brands will go from strength to strength as part of a larger group, and I am excited to be a part of this transformation”.