Primrose’s Kitchen, a UK based breakfast cereal manufacturer, has been acquired by a team of British businessmen.
The new owners, including former Cadbury Schweppes executives, have set up the investment company PK Ventures for the purpose.
The acquisition price has not been disclosed.
Primrose’s Kitchen, based in Dorset in southern England, sells its products, which include Raw Beetroot & Ginger Muesli and Raw Carrot & Cinnamon Muesli, through retailers including Waitrose, Whole Foods Market and online seller Ocado.
PK Ventures said it has major expansion plans for the business.
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Primrose Matheson, who founded Primrose’s Kitchen five years ago, based on her passion for healthy eating and organic, vegan and gluten-free foods, retains a seat on the board and will continue to champion the brand, particularly across social media channels where she is said to have a devoted following.
She said: “I’m really proud of my business and particularly the great feedback and engagement I get from people who love our products and what we stand for, so it was really important to me that the new owners shared my passion.
“I really could not have wished for a better team to help take the business to the next level. Not only do they have extensive top-level food industry experience, they bring expertise and commitment on environmental issues and a strong philanthropic record to the mix. I’m looking forward to working with them on new products, new markets and an even greater focus on sustainability.”
Matt Baker, managing director of PK Ventures, said: “Primrose has established a truly exceptional business, based on differentiation and product excellence, supplying an ever-growing demand for organic, vegan and gluten-free foods, which are sustainably sourced. We’re delighted that she will remain central to our plans to grow the business through range and market development, both in the UK and in selected export markets.
“We see tremendous potential for the Primrose’s Kitchen brand, not only with supermarkets and premium retail, but also in hospitality, hotels, garden centres, farm shops and foodservice.”
PK Ventures’ management team, which comprises Baker, Andrew Baker as chairman and Simon Baldry, each have more than 30 years’ board-level experience in the food and drinks industry and worked together as executives at Cadbury Schweppes.
The company’s investors include Ben Eliot, who was appointed last year as the UK government’s first food surplus and waste champion, Andy Cosslett, chairman of Kingfisher plc and the Rugby Football Union and a former senior board member at Cadbury Schweppes, plus Sir David Hempleman-Adams, the well-known adventurer and environmental campaigner.
PK Ventures said it aims to more than double the annual sales of Primrose’s Kitchen to GBP1.75m (US$2.2m) by next year and take it to GBP5m turnover within five years.