Yeo Valley looks to take bigger bite of fast-growing UK snack market with help from Clarke Willmott

February 3, 2023

The corporate team from the Bristol office of national law firm Clarke Willmott has advised on a deal aimed at shaking up the UK snacks sector.

It worked with the venture fund of Blagdon-based organic dairy business Yeo Valley on its “significant contribution” to the acquisition of UK snacks firm Cheesies by challenger brand The Curators, which produces a range of high-protein savoury snacks.

Yeo Valley, Britain’s largest organic dairy brand best known for its natural yogurt, had already backed start-up Cheesies, a baked cheese bitesize snack, through its Yeo Valley Associates (YVA) fund.

It said it was impressed by The Curators’ distribution channels and “vision to build a leading functional snacking brand”.

The deal, the value of which has not been disclosed, will allow London-based The Curators to grow its portfolio of high-protein meat and vegetarian snacks.

As part of the transaction, YVA has invested further funds in the newly combined business.

Clarke Willmott’s team that advised YVA on both transactions was led by Rob Ridd, corporate partner in Bristol. 

Rob, pictured, said: “This deal involved some complex and innovative structuring advice, delivering the transaction on an accelerated timescale.

“We completed the transaction, balancing the interests of multiple stakeholders, in around a third of the usual lead time for a deal of this type.

“The result is a combined group which is now in a great position to build into the savoury snacks market.”

Yeo Valley CEO Tom Wright added: “We are excited for The Curators to lead Cheesies into its next stage of growth and to support them to capitalise on the synergies across both brands.”

Max Rees, co-founder of The Curators, which launched its first product in 2018, said bringing Cheesies into its portfolio gave it even more opportunity to drive its vision of “supercharging savoury snacking”.

He added: “There are a number of synergies between the two businesses. We are looking forward to building on the strong online momentum they have achieved, while using our experience to accelerate growth plans for the range in retail.”

Clarke Willmott also has offices in Birmingham, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton, and Taunton.

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