Juvela provides S-Ventures synergies, particularly with recently acquired free-from brand Lizza

Fmcg investment house S-Ventures has acquired gluten-free brand Juvela to expand its portfolio of free-from suppliers.

The business manufactures a range of branded gluten-free breads, mixes and pasta at its factory in Wales and distributes to UK retailers.

S-Ventures agreed to pay Swiss consumer foods group Hero, the brand’s owner, £8m in cash and five million of its shares, which are traded on the UK’s Aquis Exchange.

Juvela generated revenues of £8.8m in the year ended 31 December 2021 and S-Ventures said the business had continued to operate profitably this year, with expected gross sales of £8.6m.

S-Ventures highlighted the synergies between its existing brands and said there were “many opportunities to combine resources and cross-fertilise brands and distribution channels”.

The firm recently acquired German free-from food brand Lizza, which owns a large factory in Frankfurt.

S-Ventures added it believed the UK free-from market was “very promising, with the potential for substantial future growth”.

Scott Livingston, the founder and CEO of S-Ventures, said: “We are delighted to partner with Hero Group and to add the Juvela business to our platform. We welcome Hero Group as new partners and shareholders and are excited about the opportunity this acquisition brings to drive substantial growth and value for all our shareholders.”

Hero Group CEO Rob Versloot added: “We are very pleased to have found an ideal home where Juvela can grow to its full potential alongside other similar companies. The divestment is part of our company’s long-term strategy and supports the Hero Group’s focus on its core categories of baby and toddler food and snacks, healthy snacks and natural spreads.”

S-Ventures was represented in this transaction by law firm Farrer & Co, while the Hero Group was supported by financial advisor Alantra and law firm Pinsent Masons.