UK snacks company Ape Snacks has acquired local peer Emily Crisps.

A new combined business called Nurture Brands has been formed as a result. The owner of this new venture is Ben Arbib, the entrepreneur behind plant-based food business, Rebel Kitchen.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, sees London-based Ape Snacks, which specialises in coconut-based snacks, buying Emily Crisps, which makes fruit and vegetable crisps.

Ape, founded in 2016 by Zack Nathan, was sold to an unnamed “private investor and brand owner operating in the food and beverage space” in November. It is understood that this was Arbib.

Emily Crisps, also based in London, was founded in 2014 by Emily Wong and Alex Ascani. In November 2016 they sold a minority stake in the business to private-equity firm Inverleith and investor club Hothouse Brands.

Nurture Brands is also to be based in London. A statement from Ape Snacks said it “has a vision to make snacking a positive choice with a portfolio of plant-based snacks that deliver on quality, taste and natural goodness”.

Emily Crisps and Ape Snacks will be the “foundation brand” in the new company.

The statement continued: “Combining these two challenger brands in one company will provide a platform for the business to accelerate growth, pursue more innovation and support the continued investment into consumer awareness and trial.”

Arbib said: “We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to put together two really exciting, fast-growing brands in Emily and Ape. The brands both share the same values, focusing on whole natural ingredients and great taste”.

Nurture Brands will be led by Bev Morton, who becomes its managing director. Morton is managing director at Ape Snacks and previously worked in various roles at confectionery giant Mars.