Fast-growing infant snacks brand Kiddylicious has been bought by Lotus Bakeries in a deal worth around £42m.
The children’s snack and meal brand, which The Grocer reported was closing in on a sale, has been wholly acquired by the Belgian bakery firm as it continues to expand in the snacking category.
Kiddylicious, which was launched by former M&S food scientist Sally Preston in 2009, sought a sale as it looked to expand the brand internationally.
It will join Lotus Bakeries’ Natural Foods arm, which also comprises of healthy snack brands Nakd, TREK, Bear and Urban Fruit, all of which have been acquired in the past three years.
Kiddylicious brand owner The Kids Food Co had hired corporate finance boutique Stamford Partners to find external investment to support its rapid growth.
The brand generated UK retail sales of £18.5m in the year to 16 June, growing at almost 70% year-on-year, and sales are estimated to be at least £21m for the year to December 2018.
Kiddylicious has grown rapidly, expanding in the UK through its Little Bistro ambient ready meals range. It claims to be responsible for almost 75% of the growth in the category in the UK last year.
“We are excited as we firmly believe that the Kiddylicious brand has a delicious and extensive product offering for babies and toddlers, which enriches our product range in the healthier snacking segment,” commented Jan Boone, CEO of Lotus.
“Kiddylicious products can already be found in multiple countries, yet Lotus Bakeries can help in realising the next level for Kiddylicious by leveraging its international potential. Additionally we want to further strengthen the position of Kiddylicious in its home market the UK.”
Sally Preston of Kiddylicious said: “I am delighted with the success of Kiddylicious to date both in the UK and globally and it has been an exciting journey for all of the team.
“In Lotus we have found the perfect partner who shares our aspirations and brand values. We look forward to becoming part of the Lotus Bakeries family.”
Lotus Bakeries was advied by Houlihan Lokey, PwC, DLA Piper LLP and Bain & Company.
Kiddylicious was advised by Stamford Partners LLP, KPMG LLP and Eversheds.