UK- Plant-based chicken brand VFC Foods has diversified its product portfolio through the acquisition of  British plant-based meats company Meatless Farm in a deal worth US$15.2 million.

According to VFC, The Meatless Farm brand will be retained and operate as a separate brand but will be incorporated into its existing operations.

 “We are delighted to announce this strategic acquisition, whilst being extremely mindful of the business’ challenges and the impact on the people involved,” David Sparrow, chief executive of VFC Foods, said.

“By integrating both brands, we can utilise numerous synergies with valued customers and suppliers, thus driving innovation and extending customer choice.”

He added that Meatless Farm has built strong consumer awareness, which aligns with our core values, and their exciting product portfolio enhances our existing range.

Matthew Glover, Co-Founder of both VFC, Veg Capital and Veganuary, stated also noted that VFC Foods is well positioned to sustainably grow the Meatless Farm brand once the cost-of-living crisis eases, and the plant-based space has experienced further consolidation.

“Reducing our meat consumption is crucial for a healthier, more sustainable future and, at VFC Foods, we will continue developing vegan alternatives which taste so good, they render the need to kill animals obsolete,” Mathew noted.

Meanwhile, VFC Foods said in April the plant-based chicken business was seeking to expand in the UK and internationally after receiving a new batch of investment from Veg Capital.

Already present in the Netherlands and the US, VFC Foods also announced its  planns to launch in the Nordics, Belgium and Spain, with further expansion earmarked for France, Germany and Australia.

In addition, Meatless Farm had also been supplying the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and Morrisons in the UK, and was also marketing its meat-free products in Europe, including Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

The company had previously secured backing from private-equity fund Stray Dog Capital and Swiss investment company Beyond Impact.

In 2019, the business received an unquantified investment from TV broadcaster Channel 4 via its Commercial Growth Fund in return for an undisclosed stake in the company.

The plant-based business pocketed $31m in September 2020, adding to a previous US$17m funding round. The Danish publication Borsen, quoting Toft Bech, reported in 2020 that the company was after additional cash, equivalent at the time to US$70m.

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