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Plum Baby lands £1.5m deal

The organic baby food company looks set for another strong year

It looks set to be a happy Christmas for Plum Baby as the organic baby food company tops off a great year with a £1.5m investment.

Noble Fund Managers Private Equity has invested in the business, founded by Susie Willis in 2004, in return for a significant minority stake. It is also understood that Octopus Ventures is planning on investing in the company. As part of the deal, former Unilever executive Patrick Cairns joins as it chief executive. He said: “Plum is one of the most exciting up and coming food brands, and is transforming the baby-food category. “I am delighted to be leading this already successful and innovative company to the next level.” The deal is good news for the growing business and follows a year in which it has generated revenues of £5m. Willis was also awarded a prestigious Startups Women in Business Award and her business is now estimated to possess about 4% of the baby food market and is available in retailers such as Boots, Ocado, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. Willis said: “We are delighted to welcome Noble as our venture capital investors. “Noble demonstrated an impressive understanding of the business and showed a great willingness and desire to be part of Plum Baby’s immediate future. “This was reflected in their ability to bring the deal to a swift and successful completion.” The deal took just seven weeks to complete from introduction to completion, and was concluded in mid-November. The deal was led by Douglas Lawson, with support from Stephane Mery and Gerard Tardy. Noble was introduced to Plum Baby by Nucleus Capital and was attracted to its strong brand, excellent distribution and driven team. Financial due diligence was provided by PKF and Martin Quinn of Edinburgh Corporate provided legal advice. © Crimson Business Ltd. 2007

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