Helping Tuber Group to ‘build back better’

03-12-2021

A few weeks after adding Saxon Foods to his growing portfolio with our help, a Hull-based businessman has revealed his hopes of supporting the UK Government’s ambition to ‘build back better’.

 

Steve Humphrey, owner of Hessle-based Tuber Group, is aiming to do this by creating a number of new jobs and aiming to potentially double the turnover of the newly-combined business.

 

He recently bought Saxon Foods, a plant-based convenience foods manufacturer located in Scunthorpe, and our dedicated James Legal team pulled out all the stops to ensure the complex transaction went off without a hitch.

 

Entrepreneur Steve has spent decades working in the food industry, and set up Tuber in 2017 with literally a phone, a laptop and a few hundred pounds in his pocket. Since then, the potato and vegetable supply company has gone from strength to strength, operating across six countries, with offices in the UK, America, Spain and Egypt.

 

Steve immediately spotted the potential of Saxon – previously a subsidiary of the Abbeydale Group – and acquired the business, factory and land in a complex deal that involved four different legal teams all collaborating to ensure the sale, as well as the transfer of all 70 employees, was as smooth as possible.

 

Senior Solicitor Byron Swarbrick led the purchase on behalf of the Tuber Group, but acknowledges sealing the deal was a team effort. “Selling or buying a subsidiary company is always complicated and time-consuming, but this was worth all the effort,” he said. “Four different teams of lawyers, representing all the clients and lenders involved in the sale, collaborated on some very complex negotiations to get it over the line.

 

“In our team, I was supported by our Director and Senior Solicitor Mike Stoney, who covered the property transfer; Paralegal Anna Bisby, who assisted with the commercial corporate element, and Managing Director Simon Young, who oversaw the whole thing. We all felt very proud to work on this deal.”

 

New product development

 

Now that everything is signed and sealed with Saxon, Steve is firmly focused on his expansion plans for the future and is already recruiting. He said: “We are actively looking to boost the existing Saxon workforce by about 15 per cent. We have roles to fill in the factory, and we’re also looking for food commodity traders – people who enjoy buying and selling and building relationships with clients.

 

“Anyone who wants to get involved in a very fast-growing group of companies, who has the right attitude and vision, should come and talk to us. There’s great scope for career progression and we’re looking for good people who can really add value to the group.”

 

Driven by a desire to boost the level of home-grown food supplied to British retailers, as well as increase British exports of frozen foods around the world, Steve has his sights set on innovation. He said: “I aim to double our turnover within the next three years through new product development as well as by growing our current product portfolio. It’s an exciting time to be trading in plant-based foods as consumer demand for them is rising and the sector offers so much potential for development.

 

“We’re looking at eating trends in countries like America, Spain and Egypt, and we can bring fresh ideas into the marketplace now because, through the Saxon purchase, we now have a direct line from the suppliers to the retailers.”

 

Lasting relationships

 

Steve is also on the lookout for more potential acquisitions to continue building a strong, diverse group of food companies with a focus on British brands. He added: “I have a vision of creating some new brands for products like British potatoes, such as  a high-quality British chip made with British rapeseed oil, that we can sell within the UK and export to the rest of the world. I believe in the Government’s drive to ‘build back better’ in this country, in the wake of developments like Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, and intend to contribute to its success.”

 

And he is very keen to work with us on any future acquisitions, having benefitted from the support of our highly committed, skilled lawyers. Of his experience with James Legal, Steve added: “Byron and the James Legal team were absolutely fantastic. They worked extremely hard to get a complex deal over the line which represents a vital stepping stone in the longer-term plans I have for the business.

 

“This included going over and above, working with me in and out of office hours and effectively walking at my side to support me throughout, making the stresses which always accompany projects like this much more manageable.”

 

Simon added: “Steve is full of passion and ideas, and I’m sure he will be hugely successful in his endeavours. We look forward to supporting Tuber Group with any further company purchases and, as part of our ongoing relationship, we hope to be able to introduce him to potential future business opportunities.

 

“This is a prime example of the kinds of relationships we have with our clients – which extend far beyond a single transaction and are more about hand-holding and supporting them through the journey to reaching their full potential.”

 

If you’re inspired by Steve’s story and think we could help you reach your business goals, get in touch via (01482) 225566 or info@jameslegal.co.uk.


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