Colian purchased 100% of shares in Elizabeth Shaw Limited from Norwegian investment fund Imagine Capital AS, a deal that also gives it control of Elizabeth Shaw subsidiary Famous Names Limited.
Describing the acquisition as "a significant move which has a key and long-term purpose", Colian president Jan Kolański said it was part of the company's strategy to expand into overseas territories. Colian already produces waffles and cookies for the UK market.
Elizabeth Shaw has a loyal customer base in the UK and is growing ahead of the premium chocolate category, according to Elizabeth Shaw managing director Karen Crawford.
Reasons for selling the business
“Colian is a strong believer in brands and has a wealth of experience in the confectionery market,” Crawford said. “These strengths in combination with a well-respected quality English brand will ensure the long-term growth of Elizabeth Shaw.”
With Colian's plans to grow overseas, and with rising international appeal for British chocolate products, Elizabeth Shaw wants to capitalize further on the export opportunity, added Crawford. Currently, 5% of Elizabeth Shaw sales are from exports.
Focusing on innovation
Elizabeth Shaw also hopes Colian could help grow the brand through creating innovative lines using its product development capabilities, although Crawford admitted extending a chocolate brand into adjacent categories can be challenging.
“Taste and textural differentiation together with added value gifting presentation are becoming more and more important to our customers,” she said, “Continuous innovation is integral to maintaining and growing this consumer demand.”
“We’re looking forward to elevating the brand to the next level within the premium chocolate category and working alongside Colian to achieve this.”