Gosh Food, the UK vegan and allergen-free products manufacturer, has been acquired by Portuguese conglomerate Sonae.

Porto-based Sonae, which has interests in 90 countries covering sectors including retail, financial services, shopping centre management and media, paid GBP64m (US$88.1m) for 95.4% of Claybell, which trades as Gosh.

Based in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, north-west of London, Gosh has a product range including falafels, quinoa bites and beetroot burgers, which are stocked by the UK’s major retailers. It also serves the private-label market.

Sonae said the deal, done via its subsidiary Soane Food4Future, follows its active portfolio management strategy “focused on innovative companies in growth sectors”.

It said Gosh, which recorded a “normalised” turnover of GBP22m in the fiscal year ended May 2021, “adjusted for Covid-19 impact”. Gosh is a “strong fit” with Sonae’s “ambition to increase its international footprint”, the Portuguese group added.

Gosh’s management team, led by CEO Jane Rayner, will continue to run the business post-deal and will hold the remaining 4.6% stake in the firm.

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By GlobalData

Just Food has asked Gosh for comment on the deal.

Last July, Gosh revealed plans to build a second production facility. It said it would spend GBP5m on a ‘free-from’ factory near its current facility in Milton Keynes.

According to the latest accounts filed at the UK’s Companies House for Claybell, the company generated a turnover of GBP20.9m in the year to the end of May 2020, compared to GBP18.6m the year before.

Operating profit stood at GBP3.4m, versus GBP3.9m in the prior year. Profit for the financial year was GBP2.5m, compared to GBP3.1m in the 12 months to the end of May 2019.