Noble Foods has agreed to divest its premium chilled dessert brand Gü Puds to Exponent Private Equity for an undisclosed sum.
Sky News reported last Thursday that the private equity firm was in exclusive talks with Noble Foods to buy the pudding brand, following a £150 million bid; however, an agreement has only now been signed. The UK egg producer has been looking into the potential sale of Gü since last November.
Founded in 2003, Gü offers a variety of cheesecakes, mousses and hot puddings, as well as a lower calorie Lights range. The brand has recently entered the free-from category and launched Gü Inspirations, which are based on bakery favourites and includes Red Velvet Desserts.
Noble Foods acquired the brand back in 2010 and has since invested in a manufacturing facility in Bishops Stortford, which opened in 2018. In 2020, Gü recorded its second consecutive year of double-digit growth.
According to Exponent, Gü’s restaurant-quality desserts have led the growth of the premium segment for retailers. The UK brand also has a strong and growing presence in France and Germany.
“Noble Foods has been a great custodian of the brand over the last ten years, and we are extremely grateful for their support in helping us grow the business,” said Pete Utting, managing director at Gü.
Upon completion of the deal, Gü will join Exponent’s portfolio that currently includes Meadow Foods, ethnic foods platform Vibrant Foods, as well as snacks brands Proper and Eat Real. It previously owned Quorn before selling it to Monde Nissin for £550 million in 2015.
Simon Davidson, senior partner at Exponent, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Gü to the Exponent portfolio. We now look forward to supporting Pete and the team as they deliver its next phase of growth. Building on its success in the UK, we believe Gü has enormous international potential with the opportunity to create a truly global, premium indulgence brand.”
Utting added: “Exponent has already committed to a significant investment to further increase capacity at our UK site, which will enable us to meet our future demand from the UK, Europe and the US.”
Duncan Everett, CEO of Noble Foods Group, said: “We strongly believe that Exponent has the necessary expertise to grow the Gü business even further, especially increasing its international reach. The sale allows us to invest and grow Noble Foods’ core business and brands.”
The transaction is expected to be completed in June.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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