Founded in 2002 by Dan Croft and his father, Vince Croft, as a component distributor, Vanilla expanded quickly to the provision of full supply chain management solutions for its customers, typically being specialist, high-end technology manufacturers in a range of sectors from oil and gas to healthcare. Based in Thetford, Vanilla now offers a fully outsourced service, from conceptual design, material procurement, kitting, manufacturing, through to end customer order fulfilment, product returns, warranty, repair and re-supply. Vanilla has recently on-boarded new CFO, Matt Negus, to support Dan in taking the business forward.
The deal was led by Ed Savory with Adam Jones advising on the equity investment and support provided by William Kemp, Macauley Alsford, Jane Saunders and Julia Burfoot (corporate), Andrew Ridout (commercial property), Karl Pocock and John Kahn (tax), and Sam Greenhalgh (employment).
Dan Croft, CEO at Vanilla commented: “We are excited about having Literacy invested in Vanilla which should provide the catalyst to fuel our accelerated growth plans for the business. The Birketts team was recommended to us and they have been brilliant from the outset. Ed and Adam and the rest of their team have been highly responsive and commercial, guiding us through this fast paced transaction in a controlled manner. We look forward to developing our relationship with Birketts going forward as we believe their approach and expertise is ideally suited to support us on our ambitious trajectory.”
Ed Savory, Corporate Partner at Birketts concluded: “It has been an extraordinary experience – started and finished in lockdown, only meeting the clients in person for signing at the end. In order to meet the client’s expectations we split the roles so that I led on the share sale whilst Adam focused on the private equity elements. This approach meant we were able to maximise our expertise on PE deals whilst keeping to the timetable. Dan and Matt have been immense fun to work with - it has been a pleasure advising this pair of young and dynamic entrepreneurs. There is no doubt that Vanilla has an exciting future, especially with Literacy behind it. The chemistry feels right which is crucial for PE-backed deals.”