Advising Bridges on divestment of Vegetarian Express to NVM Private Equity

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Gateley Legal

We have advised Bridges Fund Management, a specialist private markets investor specialising in sustainable and impact investing, on the sale of Vegetarian Express, the UK’s leading specialist plant-based food ingredient supplier, to NVM Private Equity.

Bridges Fund Management invested £5.6m in the Watford-based company back in 2016 and has seen revenues more than double to over £17m in that time.

The deal will see NVM inject £15m into the business which currently supplies over 2,500 catering locations across the UK. The investment, which is being led by Mauro Biagioni and Alex Wilson, is NVM’s eighth transaction in 12 months and will be used to expand the company’s footprint into Ireland and invest in its operational, customer service and digital offering.

Our team comprised of corporate partner Zum Mohammed, assisted by Alex Taylor and Angela Kumari.

Emma Thorne, Partner at Bridges, said: “We invested in Vegetarian Express because we believed there was a clear commercial and impact opportunity in helping consumers reduce their meat consumption by switching to plant-based meals. In Vegetarian Express, we identified a best-in-class provider with strong growth potential that also shared our values. The business has grown substantially over the course of our investment diversifying its offering, expanding its own-brand range, and launching its unique Seedbank tool for chefs. We’re really proud of the growth and impact it has achieved and wish its outstanding team all the best for the future.

“Working with Zum and her team on the deal was a real pleasure. Their transactional experience and knowledge along with their responsive and proactive approach was invaluable in helping us to negotiate a successful transition for the business.”

Zum Mohammed, added: “The investment from Bridges has been both a commercial and impact success. Alongside the company’s impressive revenue growth, it has significantly enhanced Vegetarian Express’ ESG credentials by capitalising on the changing tastes of health-conscious consumers and growing environmental concerns over livestock production and its contribution to greenhouse gases. We have every confidence that the business will continue to flourish.”

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