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Fast growing Pip & Nut has hired advisors to secure a major cash injection to drive the nut butter brand’s next stage of growth, The Grocer can reveal.

The health-focused supplier has hired Houlihan Lokey to find a partner to acquire a minority stake in the brand for around £5m.

The search for a cash injection comes less than a year after Pip & Nut announced a £1m funding round to drive new product growth.

In the past year, it has delivered 24.6% sales growth, significantly ahead of 7.4% growth in the nut butter category [IRI], and is now stocked across the big four.

Cash will be used for increased marketing and to grow the brand’s pipeline of new products, as it aims to hit a retail sales value of £23m in 2021.

The company is currently in discussions with both high net worth individuals and institutional investors, with a preference for “a partner or partners with food and drink experience”.

Check out The Grocer’s finance page for full details later this morning.

Morning update

Real Good Food (RGD) has sold its Chantilly Patisserie frozen desserts business to its management team in an MBO worth £0.2m.

RGF will receive £0.1m cash upfront, with a further £0.05m each year for the first two years of new ownership.

Chantilly has been producing frozen desserts from its premises in Paignton, Devon for 20 years, and was carved out from Haydens Bakery prior to Haydens’ disposal to Bakkavor Group plc back in September 2018.

In the financial year ended 31 March 2018, Chantilly contributed £2.4m and incurred a loss before non-recurring items and tax of £0.25m and a pre-tax loss of £0.32m.

Following this disposal (and those of Haydens, Garretts and R&W Scott), RGF will focus its full attention and resources on growing its two profitable, continuing businesses which together now comprise the majority of the group: cake decoration (Renshaw and Rainbow Dust) and ingredients (Brighter Foods).

“Having transformed the Group’s financial position as a result of these disposals and other financing activities, the financial resources are now available to fund this growth,” RGD stated.

Meanwhile, this week’s edition of The Grocer has the latest on the proposed sale of Young’s with the widely expected CapVest buyout on the brink of collapse, Unilever emerges in pole position in Graze auction and asset sales boost profits at William Jackson.

Click on this morning for full details.

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 has started the day up another 0.4% to 6,997.2pts.

Early risers include Hotel Chocolat (HOTC), up 1.8% to 312.9p, FeverTree (FEVR), up 1.1% to 2,597.9p and Coca-Cola HBC (CCH), up 1% to 2,583p.

Fallers include Hilton Food Group (HFG), down 0.9% to 920p, Majestic Wine (WINE), down 0.7% to 271.5p and Ocado (OCDO), down 0.6% to 985.4p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 ended the day in touching distance of 7,000pts as it rose a further 0.4% to 6,968.8pts yesterday.

One of the FTSE’s major movers was Diageo (DGE), which jumped 4.7% to 2,901.5p after posted stellar 5.8% first half growth to £6.9bn yesterday.

Also on the up were Bakkavor (BAKK), up 4.2% to 148p, FeverTree (FEVR), up 3.6% to 2,571p, British American Tobacco (BATS), up 2.1% to 2,687p and Ocado Group (OCDO), up 1.7% to 991.2p.

Dairy Crest, which yesterday said its key brands continued to gain market share in the third quarter, rose 1.6% to 483.4p.

Other risers included Premier Foods (PFD), up 4.6% to 40p, Finsbury Food Group (FIF), up 3.7% to 91.8p and McBride (MCB), up 3.1% to 134p.

Bucking the upwards trend was Unilever, which dropped 2% to 3,984.5p despite beating full year earnings expectations and its fourth quarter organic growth of 2.9% was well below the 3.5% the market expected.

Other fallers included Greencore (GNC), which dropped 5.9% to 193p after concluding its share buyback process following the disposal of its US business. Greggs (GRG) fell 1.5% to 1550p, B&M European Value Retail (BME) dropped 1.4% to 324.2p, PZ Cussons dropped 1.2% to 178.9p and Marks & Spencer (MKS) fell 1.1% to 288.8p.