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May 13, 2021updated 12 Oct 2021 3:39pm

Noble Food ‘exclusive talks to sell puds brand Gu’

Gü owner Noble Foods is reportedly in exclusive talks to sell the UK desserts brand to private-equity firm Exponent.

By Dean Best

Sky News, citing unnamed sources, reported on the discussions today (13 May). The broadcaster said the sources had revealed there are other suitors interested in the cheescake-to-soufflé brand.

Approached by Just Food, officials representing Noble Foods and Exponent declined to comment.

In November, Sky News said Noble Foods, one of the UK’s largest egg suppliers, had hired M&A advisory firm Spayne Lindsay to run an auction for the Gü brand.

Privately-owned Noble Foods bought a majority stake in Gü, which was founded in 2003 by owner and managing director James Averdieck, in 2010.

The most recently filed set of accounts at the UK’s Companies House for Noble Foods cover the 52 weeks to 27 September 2019. Turnover stood at GBP314.2m (US$441.2m), down slightly from GBP317.5m a year earlier.

Operating profit was GBP8.9m, versus GBP11.3m a year earlier. The company made a profit for the financial year of GBP5.8m, against GBP7.2m 12 months earlier.

Exponent’s assets in the UK food industry include Vibrant Foods, the Asian cuisine business it formed last year with the merger of TRS Foods and East End Foods. Vibrant Foods has since made a number of acquisitions.

Earlier this year, Exponent acquired a majority stake in UK snacks firm Proper, with plans to form a new business in the sector in combination with an existing local snacks asset, Eat Real.

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