Planet Organic recorded £33m in sales for the year ended August 2018

Planet Organic recorded £33m in sales for the year ended August 2018

Health-focused grocer Planet Organic is set for major expansion after being acquired by consumer brands investor Inverleith LLP.

The investment group is injecting cash into the company to expand its store footprint in London, more than doubling its current portfolio of stores over the next five years.

Inverleith has purchased a majority stake in the organic supermarket for around £15m, following a sales process launched in October 2017.

Planet Organic will use the investment to expand across London, with plans for at least two new openings by the end of next year.

Chief executive Peter Marsh said the company was currently looking at a list of 25 potential store locations across the city.

The business recorded £33m in sales for the year ended August 2018, it said, and moved back into the black after a £323k loss in 2017.

“With the new store openings, I think we can get the company up to sales of £50m within three years,” said Marsh.

“The real purpose behind the investment search was always to get more money into the business to expand the number of stores.

“The number one priority is to open new stores in London. That’s not because we don’t think we could do well in the rest of the country, but the infrastructure and logistics of having seven already in London means that is the most logical move now.”

Planet Organic has three stores in the centre of London at Devonshire Square, Torrington Place and Tottenham Court Road, and a further four at Muswell Hill, Wandsworth, Westbourne Grove and Islington. The retailer also offers nationwide delivery and a click & collect service.

The deal follows a number of investments by Inverleith into organic fmcg brands, including Good Hemp and Emily Crisps.

Inverleith CFO Stella Morse, who will join the Planet Organic board, said: “As a specialist consumer brand investor with a focus on health and wellness, we look for companies that have a unique selling point and a strong defendable market position.

“In Planet Organic, we have a retailer and a brand which is at the forefront of the natural and organic movement in the United Kingdom, a category which continues to expand.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to support Planet Organic in its mission to take natural and organic products to an ever-increasing number of consumers, whether that be through an engaging retail store environment or online.”

Planet Organic was advised on the deal by specialist corporate finance advisory firm Spayne Lindsay & Co.