Specialist private equity fund manager YFM Equity Partners has backed the management buy-out of The Protein Works with a £6m investment from its Buyout Fund.
The management buy-out was from B&B Investment Partners. YFM notes that Dan Freed and Andy Thomas led the investment for YFM; and this announcement marks the 8th investment from YFM’s Buyout Fund I, taking it past 70% invested.
Founded in 2012, The Protein Works is a direct-to-consumer sports nutrition business that sells a wide range of protein powders, snacks, supplements and foods. These are manufactured at the company’s 34,000 square foot facility in Runcorn, Cheshire, North West England. The business has won several awards including New Business of the Year 2014 at the National Business Awards.
Consumers in the UK and the EU can buy directly from The Protein Works through the brand’s website; and the business sells to markets across the globe via a network of international distributors. The company has enjoyed a sustained period of growth. These have been ‘buoyed by the development of a leading vegan range, unique snacks from its in-house protein bakery and best of breed flavours.’ It expects to reach £13 million of sales this year.
The business is run by CEO Mark Coxhead, who co-founded the business, and Marketing Director Laura Keir. As part of the transaction, Arvin Ghoora will join the business as Finance Director. The team plan to make further board appointments in the coming months as the business gears up for further growth.
Andy Thomas, Partner at YFM said “The Protein Works is ideally placed to serve customers seeking to make protein and other healthy supplements part of their everyday lifestyle. The team have developed an exciting proposition that consumers can trust, and we’re looking forward to working with them to grow the brand, both in the UK and globally. YFM is delighted to be part of The Protein Works team”.
Mark Coxhead, co-founder and Managing Director at The Protein Works added, “It’s a very exciting time at The Protein Works as we embark on a new phase of expansion. The brand’s premium range of products have been well received in diverse markets and cultures around the world, illustrating its incredible potential.
“Partnering with YFM will help us to make this unique brand truly global and give millions more the opportunity to snack healthy on everything from Protein Crunkies to Loaded Nut Butters.”
Sam Davies, Corporate Finance Director at Cowgills, who advised YFM and its management, said, “Mark and his team have rapidly built The Protein Works into a leading premium sports nutrition brand; the partnership with YFM matches the team’s growth ambitions. The management team met a number of equity partners but had a strong cultural fit with YFM, which has an excellent track record supporting MBOs and consumer sector deals.
The team have been a pleasure to work with and we look forward to continuing to support them as an independent business”.
Sam Davies of Cowgills provided corporate finance advice for the acquisition. YFM’s legal advice was provided by Mark Winthorpe and Andy Walsh at Pannone Corporate. Financial due diligence was undertaken by Iain White of DSG, and commercial due diligence by White Cap Consulting. OneFourZero undertook digital due diligence, and Marsh completed insurance due diligence. Will Munday of DWF provided legal advice to the management team. Paul Satchell of Spayne Lindsay and Crispin Bridges Webb and Gareth Cook of Shoosmiths advised the vendors.