UK – Ulrick & Short, a UK clean label ingredients supplier, has been acquired by Swedish investment firm Novax, for an undisclosed sum.

Ulrick & Short which has been in operation for over two decades now, specialises in clean label, plant-based and natural ingredients such as starches, flours, fibres and proteins.

 The company supplies food manufacturers across Europe looking to develop healthier and sustainable alternatives in the bakery, meat, dairy and ready meal sectors.

Novax says the acquisition which is an investment in the European speciality food ingredients market is a demonstration of the company’s continued commitment to a more sustainable “Future of Food”.

Following completion of the deal, Ulrick & Short will continue to operate as a standalone business; while founders Adrian Short and Andrew Ulrick will remain as minority shareholders.

Novax’s acquisition of Ulrick & Short is timely as the European specialty food ingredient market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.96% during the forecast period between 2020 and 2025, according to projections from markets research firm, Mordor Intelligence.

Mordor Intelligence notes that the increase in consumption of nutritive convenience food and fortified food and the growth in health awareness among consumers are driving the functional food ingredients segment.

“From the first meeting with the Novax team it was clear we had found an organisation and group of people that shared our values and beliefs of how a business should be nurtured and developed,” said Adrian Short, co-founder, director and shareholder of Ulrick & Short.

“With Novax behind the company and team, we will continue to grow and have the best chance of seeing Ulrick & Short reach its full potential,” he added.

Adrian Short  will stay on at the company and will continue to lead the business. Andrew Ulrick, on the other hand, will retire from his operational role and continue to support the business as a strategic advisor.

Pär Warnström, senior investment manager and sector manager food at Novax said: “As a long-term thematic investor and operating partner, we are pleased to offer our enduring commitment together with the team build and expand Ulrick & Short over the years to come.”

Warnström continued by saying: “At Novax, we remain determined to take an active part in driving the food industry forward with innovation, health and sustainability in focus. We look forward to working with Adrian and the team to grow Ulrick & Short and continue on this mission.”

Novax – Axel Johnson’sinvestment arm – invests in entrepreneur-driven growth companies that are primarily active in the sectors: Health & Wellness, Technical Security, Food of the Future, and Digital Infrastructure for Retail.

In early march, the company invested in Aqua Dental, one of Sweden’s largest and fastest growing dental chains.

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