Cinven’s investment in Tetley took place in November 1995 in support of a management buyin from drinks group Allied Domecq. Tetley’s operations were arranged in three divisions addressing the UK tea market, the tea and coffee market in the USA and various smaller subsidiaries and joint ventures in a number of other countries.
The success of the buyin was dependent on the rationalisation of the UK facilities, the return to profit of the businesses in the US and the expansion of the international operations.
By early 2000 these objectives had largely been fulfilled by a highly competent and dynamic management team, with sufficient growth prospects remaining for the business to encourage interest from a trade purchaser.
In March 2000 the business was sold to one of its major joint venture partners based in India, Tata Tea.
Multiple returned on investment: 2.5x