Gü is Britain’s biggest premium dessert brand with a 20% market share
The sale of Gü, the UK’s premium desserts manufacturer, nears its conclusion, according to sources closer to the auction. The sale of the business began in November when egg producer giant Noble Foods, Gu’s majority stakeholder, engaged bankers from Spayne Lindsay.
Sources closer to the auction said Gü attracted several food corporations and investors and named dairy giant Müller among the potential trade buyers. Private equity firms ECI Partners, Exponent, and CapVest are also interested in the business.
According to sources, Gü could be sold at a valuation of more than £100 million.
Managing director James Averdieck founded Gü in 2003 and seven years later Noble Foods acquired a majority stake in the business.
The sale of Gü has been on the agenda on two previous occasions. In 2009 food giants Nestlé and Mars were interested in the company in an action won by Noble Foods. Nestlé expressed its interest in Gu again when the sale came up two years ago.
Gü has a 20% market share of the UK’s premium desserts category. The brand is also available in Europe, including France and Germany.
The Gu product line comprises six SKUs, including cheesecakes, hot puddings, mousses, spreads, and a range of free-from and light desserts.
Financial details have not been disclosed, but it has been reported that sales of Gü have performed well during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it’s not clear whether the consumer uptake means the company is profitable.
The latest financials of Noble Foods show lacklustre performance. It reported a turnover of £314.2 million in the fiscal year to 27 September 2019, down from £317.5 million in the previous year.
The company’s operating profit stood at £8.9 million, down from £11.3 million in the year prior. Profit for the financial year was £5.8 million, down from £7.2 million in the previous year.
Duncan Everett, the new chief executive of Noble, brought up the sale of Gü in November last year in a move aligned with his decision to revise the company’s strategy.
Everett took the helm of Noble Foods in September last year, after a 25-year tenure at Kerry Foods, where he last served as chief executive.
Date published: 2 April 2021