Endless LLP Acquires Leading UK Edible Oil Supplier
By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media
British private equity investor Endless LLP announced it has agreed to acquire K.T.C (Edibles) Limited (KTC) - one of the largest suppliers of edible oils in the UK.
In addition to cooking oils and fats, the company also produces canned vegetables, fruit, pulse, coconut milk, sauces, rice, pasta, spices, and seasonings.
Headquartered in Wednesbury in the West Midland, and established in 1972 by the Khera family, KTC supplies more than 250 million liters of edible oils to manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers across the UK, and around the world each year. Since its founding, the Khera family has grown the business to an annual turnover of over GBP400 million (US$503.6 million).
“This is fantastic news for KTC. While it is business as usual, we are excited by the opportunities new ownership will bring and we look forward to continuing our rapid growth and development,” said Paresh Mehta, CEO, KTC.
“We would also like to thank the Khera family for building such a strong business and supporting the company and its employees over the last 50 years,” Mehta added.
As We Grapple
The global edible oil market was valued at US$186.55 billion in 2020, and is expected to reach a value of US$281.72 billion in 2028 after growing at a CAGR of 4.67 percent between 2021-2028.
However, between the impacts of COVID-19, and then the war in Ukraine, the industry is witnessing a period of unpredictability and volatility as we grapple with international trade tensions, export restrictions, supply chain disruptions, and rampant inflation.
Data based on the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI) Export Restrictions Tracker indicates that 43 percent of the world’s traded vegetable oils are affected by export restrictions in some form or another due to the war’s impact on supplies and prices.
Even prior to the war, various factors were negatively affecting many of the world’s top edible oil supplying countries. Brazil has seen its soybean crops reduced due to drought conditions in South America that are leading to Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil to collectively see their soybean output cut by 5 percent from last year’s levels. Labor shortages and a typhoon that hit in December 2021 have resulted in a decline in Malaysia’s palm oil output; Indonesia - the top palm oil supplier in the world - temporarily banned palm oil exports due to rising domestic costs and shrinking supplies; India has banned wheat exports, despite pressure to the contrary from the G7; and Canada is expected to see a 35 percent decline in its 2021/22 rapeseed crop, despite an increase in planted acreage of 8 percent, due to drought.
How the global situation will play out is hard to determine, according to the IFPRI, which stated that much depends on the duration of the war in Ukraine, and then how long it will take for Ukraine’s agricultural economy to find its feet again, before global trade can be consistent and normalized once again.
But, even if conditions end up falling into the “best that can be expected” category, the IFPRI expects that prices will likely remain elevated into 2023.
Amid these conditions, KTC has shown itself to be key to the UK food landscape, and poised for continued growth, according to Aiden Robson, partner, Endless, who noted, “Through its strong relationships with suppliers and customers, KTC has demonstrated its importance to the UK food industry at a time of increasing volatility across the global food market.
Robson concluded, “We look forward to supporting Paresh and the wider KTC team as we build upon the excellent platform laid down by the founding family.”
~ Lynda Kiernan-Stone is editor with GAI Media, and is managing editor and daily contributor for Global AgInvesting’s AgInvesting Weekly News and Agtech Intel News, as well as HighQuest Group’s Unconventional Ag. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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