Vegan food company VFC has today (21) acquired Meatless Farm in a deal worth £12 million in sales – rescuing the fellow Yorkshire plant-based brand from administration.
The Meatless Farm brand will be retained.
“The acquisition of Meatless Farm marks a crucial milestone in VFC’s growth strategy and its mission to provide more vegan products across retail and foodservice, with the aim to remove animals from the food chain,” the North Yorkshire-based company said in a statement today (21).
Kroll confirmed last week it was appointed as the administrator of loss-making Meatless Farm in May and had been “exploring all options for the business and its assets”.
VFC Foods’ co-founder Adam Lyons said, “Acquiring this remarkable brand is a testament to the hard work of the Meatless Farm team, who have done an exceptional job in developing and establishing quality products. Meatless Farm aligns seamlessly with our growth strategy, and we are confident in the underlying consumer demand for plant-based products.”
Glover and Lyons set up VFC Foods in 2020. Entrepreneur Glover is also a managing director and co-founder of private-equity firm Veg Capital. He said that VFC Foods is well positioned to sustainably grow the Meatless Farm brand once the cost-of-living crisis eases.
Meatless Farm, set up in 2016 by Danish national Morten Toft Bech in the northern English city of Leeds, booked a net loss of £23.5m for the year to Dec 31 2021, wider than a £15.4m loss in the preceding 12 months, according to the most recent accounts filed with Companies House in London.
No staff will be retained at Meatless Farm as redundancies “were already in progress” before an offer was made, a spokesperson for VFC Foods told Just Food.
The deal only includes Meatless Farm’s UK business, the spokesperson said when asked about the status of the Leeds company’s offices in Amsterdam, Singapore and New York.
“Meatless Farm will be a standalone brand and our immediate priority is to get their much-loved products back on supermarket shelves and on foodservice menus,” the spokesperson added when asked about the listings.
David Sparrow, the CEO of VFC Foods, said in the statement: “We are delighted to announce this strategic acquisition, whilst being extremely mindful of the business’ challenges and the impact on the people involved. By integrating both brands, we can utilise numerous synergies with valued customers and suppliers, thus driving innovation and extending customer choice.”