Nottingham-based healthy eating company Muscle Food secured £10 million investment from BGF to expand the business globally, starting with a second base in Europe.
Set up in 2013 by CEO Darren Beale, Muscle Foods business sells premium lean meats, high-protein food and sports supplements. After attracting a loyal following of fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders and athletes, the brand has been winning a broader customer base of health and cost-conscious eaters in the UK and Europe. Known as the ‘Muscle Food tribe’, fans include celebrities and sportspeople such as Jamie Lomas and Iwan Thomas.
Muscle Food own-branded foods – predominantly including meats, seafood, eggs and snacks – and ‘Live Clean’ meal boxes have been delivered to over half a million homes across Britain. The company recent starting exporting to Europe and sales reached £45 million in the year to 31 March 2017, up from £14 million in 2015.
Earlier this year, Muscle Food began selling its range of products – including Protein Pizza, the UK’s fifth largest pizza brand – in Sainsbury’s and will be launching in Morrisons this month.
BGF, which has backed close to 200 companies in the UK and Ireland, has taken a minority equity stake in the group. Other companies backed by BGF include Gymbox, toucanBox and Gousto.
“The Muscle Food team care passionately about making it easier for our tribe of customers to achieve their fitness and health goals – this mission has been critical in driving the expansion of the company,” Muscle Food CEO Darren Beale said. “The partnership with BGF will help us accelerate our growth and switch even more customers on to our unique proposition.”
GCA Altium provided corporate finance advice to the management team on the transaction.
“Muscle Food has grown rapidly since inception to become an extremely profitable and highly cash generative business which is relatively unheard of in high growth businesses like this,” Simon Lord, Managing Director at global investment bank GCA Altium, said. “It operates in a sector that has raised vast sums in the UK and US and it has been a real pleasure to have advised the founders and shareholders on its first external equity investment by BGF.”