Fast-growing fresh ingredients supplier Freshcut Foods has sold a majority stake to private equity player Perwyn, The Grocer can reveal.

The deal in the past week will see Perwyn back the current management and provide funds to support growth.

The business was acquired from majority shareholders and directors Adam Clarke and Peter Clee, who will continue to run it and remain significant shareholders.

The sales process was led by corporate adviser Spayne Lindsay, which confirmed: “Perwyn has made an investment in Freshcut Foods in a management buyout led by the incumbent management team”. It is believed Perwyn has taken a majority stake.

Established in 2002, Freshcut provides cooked and raw fruit, veg and pasta to food manufactures and foodservice operators across the UK for use as pizza toppings or ingredients in dishes such as stir-frys.

The business grew annual revenues by over 20% in its most recently filed annual accounts for the year to 31 January 2017 and pre-tax profits jumped 33% to £1.3m.

Freshcut recently invested to boost its capacity and employs over 200 in Beeston, Nottingham. Accounts show a £1.2m investment in fixed assets in the year, up from £170k the previous year, to “maintain profit margins and reduce long term costs”.

The business runs with a gross profit margin of 34.3%, slightly down on the gross margin of 34.7% in its previous financial year. Net assets increased to £4.1m during the year, up from £2.5m in 2015/16.

Family-funded private equity house Perwyn targets businesses with an enterprise value of £25-£125m, where it can grow companies as the first or second PE investor.

Perwyn’s other investments in food and drink include Netherlands-based Van Damme Group, , which it bills as Europe’s leading private label manufacturer of marshmallow confectionery products.


Perwyn has confirmed the investment in a statement.

Heinz Holsten, Perwyn Partner, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Freshcut as we help support the next chapter in its growth story. Freshcut is well placed to enable its customers to provide healthier products that consumers are increasingly seeking out.”

Peter Clee and Adam Clarke jointly stated: “We have found Perwyn’s culture and values a natural fit with Freshcut. We are both delighted that the relationship has culminated in an investment support for the management team at Freshcut, endorsing an exciting future for the company.”

David Bondi, Freshcut CEO, added: “I am delighted that we will be working with Perwyn for the next phase of Freshcut’s development. We will continue to work with customers and suppliers in the same way as we always have, to the mutual benefit of all, including the growing number of Freshcut employees.”

Perwyn was advised by Pannone Corporate. Freshcut management were advised by Spayne Lindsay and law firm Browne Jacobson. Acquisition finance was provided by Yorkshire Bank.