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Waitrose and Nestlé are reported to be amongst the suitors vying to buy farm-to-fork recipe box brand Mindful Chef.

The Grocer reported in May that the direct-to-consumer business, which is being advised by KPMG, was looking to secure £25m of growth funds in exchange for minority stake.

However, Sky News reported this weekend that Waitrose is in “detailed negotiations” to buy Mindful Chef and faces competition from Nestlé to secure a deal.

A deal could value the business at between £35 and £50m.

Mindful Chef has grown rapidly since Giles Humphries, Myles Hopper and Rob Grieg-Gran formed the business in 2015, with its latest annualised sales jumping another 150% to £40m and revenues soaring by 300% during the coronavirus lockdown period.

Mindful Chef said there had been a “great deal of interest” in the company but that its wider fundraising process “is still progressing and no party is in exclusivity”.

Its fundraising efforts this year follow a £6m investment from PE house Piper in January 2019 and earlier crowdfunding campaigns raising more than £2m, with sports stars Andy Murray and Victoria Pendleton among early investors.

Sky News said a deal for the brand could be concluded within weeks.

Morning update

Supermarket Income REIT has acquired a Tesco supermarket in Bracknell from a client of CBRE Global Investors for £39.5m (excluding acquisition costs).

Developed in the early 1990’s, the 7.3-acre site comprises a purpose-built food store and a 400-space surface car park. The store has several purpose-built online distribution docks, supporting Tesco’s online grocery business across the region.

The asset is being acquired with an unexpired lease term of 10 years with annual, upward only, RPI-linked rent reviews and reflecting a net initial yield of 5.7%.

The acquisition will be financed via a £40m increase of the £100m RCF facility provided by HSBC. The increase will be priced at a 1.75% margin over 3-month Libor.

Ben Green Director of Atrato Capital, the Investment Adviser to Supermarket Income REIT, said: “This omnichannel Tesco supermarket is an excellent addition to our portfolio. The store is situated in a prime location and is an important online grocery fulfilment hub, supporting both home delivery and click and collect.”

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 has started the week up 0.3% to 6,051pts.

Risers so far include Nichols, up 3.3% to 1,294.2p, Ocado, up 2.4% to 2,320p and Premier Foods, up 1.9% to 81.9p.

The morning’s fallers include Coca-Cola European Partners, down 3.6% to €36.09, Stock Spirits Group, down 3.1% to 212.3p and Naked Wines, down 1.7% to 433p.

This week in the City

The week is headlined by trading updates from former online partners Ocado and Waitrose.

Ocado will reveal is third quarter results tomorrow morning, having switched its UK retail partnership from Waitrose to Marks & Spencer earlier this month.

Also tomorrow will see the release of the monthly grocery market share figures from Kantar and Nielsen, while PureCircle will post its full year results.

Wednesday brings interim results from sport nutrition specialist Science in Sport, while retailers and fellow sports nutrition brand owner The Hut Group is scheduled to make its stock market debut following its £4.5bn IPO.

Thursday brings interim results from Waitrose owner The John Lewis Partnership as it continues its wider turnaround efforts. Also on Thursday, Hilton Food Group will post its interim results along with clothing retail giant Next.

Friday brings interim results from forecourt and motorway service station operator Applegreen interims as well as the monthly figures on UK retail sales from the Office of National Statistics.