VFC Foods has snapped up fellow plant-based business Clive’s Purely Plants along with a factory in the south-west region of England.
Known for its vegan fried chicken, VFC Foods said the deal includes Clive’s Purely Plants’ brand of pies, quiches, tarts and sausage rolls, and also a manufacturing facility in the town of Dartmouth in the county of Devon.
Co-owned by Veganuary founder Matthew Glover and Adam Lyons, VFC Foods did not disclose any financial terms for the transaction. Investor Veg Capital, of which Glover is also a co-founder and managing director, acquired a majority interest in Clive’s Purely Plants (CPP) in 2021.
In a statement today (10 October), VFC Foods said Esther Pearson, the managing director of CPP, will remain a shareholder in the business post-transaction, with final due diligence to be completed in “a matter of days”.
A spokesperson for North Yorkshire-based VFC Foods clarified the majority holding has now transferred to the business from Veg Capital.
The acquisition comes on the heels of VFC Foods, set up in 2020, buying up the plant-based meat brand of another UK business, The Meatless Farm Co., in June. No production facilities were included in that transaction as Meatless Farm used contract manufacturers.
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Meatless Farm itself, remained in administration after entering the legal process in June.
Dave Sparrow, VFC Foods’ CEO said: “The acquisition of Clive’s, following the successful addition of Meatless Farm, positions VFC Foods as a formidable player in the market.
“What excites us the most is the diverse range of products we can offer consumers, from enticing meat alternatives to wholesome and delicious vegetable-based options, making us one of the most diversified players in the category.”
Clive Lowe founded CPP in 1986 with Veg Capital buying out majority shareholders Sally and Chris Carson in 2021. Along with its pies and quiches, the company produces nut roasts with its range of products sold in “major retailers” such as Asda and Waitrose, online with Ocado and by food-delivery business Abel & Cole.
What VFC Foods called another “big five” listing is due to be revealed by CPP in December.
VFC Foods’ spokesperson said CPP has grown revenues by 47% over the past 12 months and will represent 30% of the total group’s annual revenue. The Dartmouth facility “adds options around how we process and manufacture across VFC Foods and Meatless Farm”, the company representative added.
Managing director Pearson said: “We are thrilled to have found a like-minded partner in VFC Foods to support us through this period of accelerated growth. We are committed to maintaining business as usual with all existing customers and ensuring that we uphold our high standards of customer service.”