Finance

UK premium chocolate brand Montezuma’s sells majority stake to investment firm

By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

Simon and Helen Pattinson, co-founders of Montezuma's Chocolates. Pic: Montezuma's Chocolates
Simon and Helen Pattinson, co-founders of Montezuma's Chocolates. Pic: Montezuma's Chocolates

Related tags: Investment, Chocolate

Founding couple secures significant investment from Scottish private equity firm and will step back from day-to-day running of company they founded 18 years ago.

Specialist consumer brands investor Inverleith LLP have acquired a majority stake in Montezuma’s chocolates, which was founded by Helen and Simon Pattinson in 2000.

The investment from the Edinburgh-based private equity firm will see the company expand the distribution of its chocolate  products in the UK and overseas, continue its focus on chocolate innovation, with products such as its vegan, dairy free, ‘Like No Udder’ chocolate bar as well as its ground-breaking 100% cocoa ‘Absolute Black’ products. 

Creative Conversations: Helen Pattinson

Helen Pattinson, co-founder Montezuma's Chocolates

Helen Pattinson founded Montezuma’s Chocolates with her husband Simon in 2000 with only a 'kitchen sink sized machine' and a 'broad ideal to bring chocolate innovation to a boring and staid British chocolate market.' So far it's been a fun ride, she tells Confectionery News​.

After a period of transition, the pair will step back from the day-to-day running of the business, while retaining roles as ambassadors and directors for the company.

Montezuma’s has established itself as one of the largest leading independent British manufacturers of premium artisanal chocolate. Montezuma’s manufactures chocolate bars, truffles and gifting products, runs a subscription ‘Chocolate Club’ and has retail stores in the south-east of England and London.

The company began as a chocolate shop in Brighton 18 years ago, and the company has grown into a leading independent player in the premium UK chocolate market.

Right time

We are delighted to have secured Inverleith LLP as the majority investor into Montezuma’s. After 18 years at the helm, we knew this was the right time to seek additional investment and the right partner. It was extremely important for us to find and work with an investor partner who would recognise and respect the company and brand we have created and love, our values, our innovative approach and the quality of our products​, ” said Helen.

Simon added: “We feel Inverleith fully understands the brand’s future, shares our continued passion for what we have developed and will ensure that we capture new opportunities for the brand both at home and overseas​.”

Montezuma has built its reputation on ethical standards and a highly innovative and fun approach to chocolate manufacturing and is recognised for the quality of its chocolate and its award-winning flavor profiles. The firm’s products are manufactured in the UK at its own facilities in Chichester by its highly skilled workforce. 

Commenting on the acquisition, Inverleith LLP Managing Partner, Paul Skipworth, told Confectionery News: “Montezuma’s is a fantastic addition to Inverleith’s expanding portfolio of consumer investments. Montezuma’s long-standing ethical position and track record of innovation position the brand perfectly to capture strong consumer desire for authentic, premium, artisanal brands. Montezuma’s is a quality British chocolate manufacturer with exciting product innovation in areas such as dark, 100% cocoa, flavored and vegan and non-dairy chocolates. It is already a leading player in the high growth segments of the chocolate market with enormous opportunity for the brand both in the UK and internationally​.’

Related topics: Manufacturers, Chocolate, Premium

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