Freshcut Foods factory

Source: Freshcut Foods

Freshcut supplies the likes of Greencore, Bakkavor and Samworth Brothers with prepared fruit and veg

Freshcut Foods has secured new ownership as investment firm Flywheel Partners acquired a majority stake to provide former PE owner Perwyn with an exit.

Flywheel partnered with the fresh ingredients supplier’s management team – who have “significantly” increased their stakes – as part of the deal.

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but City sources told The Grocer last year, when a process being run by US-based investment bank Stephens was revealed, that a deal could be worth upwards of £55m.

Freshcut supplies a range of added-value vegetables, fruits and carbohydrates, including pasta and pizza toppings, to in excess of 40 foodservice, manufacturer and recipe kit customers including the likes of Greencore, Bakkavor and Samworth Brothers.

Established in 2002, the business employs more than 320 staff across three facilities in Nottingham.

Rapid growth at Freshcut was hit by lockdown restrictions as the hospitality industry shut down and demand for food to go shrank, with sales falling 56% in 2021.

However, it reported “a very successful year” in its most recent Companies House accounts for 12 months to 31 July 2022 as it recovered from the pandemic. The company bounced back into the black, with pre-tax profits of £160k, compared with a £1.4m loss in the prior year on revenues up almost 40% to £35.4m.

Flywheel said significant investment into capacity and efficiency initiatives would also aid future expansion.

“Freshcut Foods is a hugely exciting business with great potential for future growth,” added Flywheel managing partner Avital Lobel.

“The growth Freshcut has delivered in recent years is testament to the quality and relevance of its products to today’s foodservice and food manufacturing businesses and consumers.

“We expect the ever-growing awareness of the health, cost and environmental benefits of plant-based foods to continue driving future growth.”

Freshcut CEO Chris Copestake said: “We are hugely excited to be partnering with Flywheel in the next stage of our growth journey, as we continue to provide customers with natural plant-based food solutions through industry-leading innovation.

“Flywheel Partners’ experience in the food sector, their entrepreneurial spirit and strong cultural fit makes them the perfect partner to help drive our development over the years ahead.”