New backer for Greenvale

Potato supplier Greenvale changed hands this week when a single investor bought a majority of the company’s 1.25m shares for £9 each.

The new shareholder is a holding company called Produce Investment, which belongs to businessman Barrie Clapham.

He already has interests in property and tyre recycling and was described by Greenvale’s chief executive Alan Owen as a partner for developing the company.

“He is not in it for the short term and certainly doesn’t need the money,” said Mr Owen.

“He is a good, practical businessman interested in developing Greenvale.

It is business as usual.”

Greenvale has a turnover of £130m a year and buys most of its potatoes from 110 growers in the Greenvale AP co-operative.

It handles about 680,000t a year for processors, caterers and retailers, including Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Aldi.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, has the financial backing of Clydesdale Bank, and shareholders in the business are expecting it to grow.

Mr Owen said it was looking for partners in other areas of produce.

“Opportunities still exist within the potato sector, for instance in semi-processing for the food service sector.

But we’re a produce company and that’s the area we’re going to look into.”