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Muscle Food secures GBP10m BGF investment

Nottingham-based healthy eating company Muscle Food is set for further international expansion after securing a GBP10 million investment from BGF. The funding will be used to establish a second base in Europe and develop the group’s online platform to drive further growth.

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 GBP45 million in the year to 31 March 2017, up from GBP14 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 & Ireland, has taken a minority equity stake in the group. Other companies backed by BGF include Gymbox, toucanBox and Gousto.
Darren Beale, CEO, Muscle Food, says: “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.
“The partnership with BGF will help us accelerate our growth and switch even more customers on to our unique proposition.”
Greg Norman, BGF, says: “The Muscle Food team are talented, focused and passionate. They have successfully managed the high-growth experienced in the last three years and are ambitious about accelerating the expansion. We are pleased to be supporting the group as it continues to scale.”
GCA Altium provided corporate finance advice to the management team on the transaction.
Simon Lord, Managing Director at global investment bank GCA Altium, says: “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. 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.”

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