Genius Joyfull artisan loaf in packaging

Source: Genius Foods

Gluten-free specialist Genius Foods is set to expand its presence in the UK and Europe after securing a £7.5m asset-based loan (ABL).

The loan will also allow the firm to improve efficiency and production lines at its bakery in Bathgate, Scotland.

It follows the acquisition of Genius by Katjes Greenfood – the investment arm of German confectionery group Katjes – last summer. Genius, which supplies a raft of gluten-free goods to supermarkets in the UK, as well as Europe and Australia, represented Katjes’ first majority holding.

Since the acquisition, the brand has undergone a revamp with recipe updates across its range. Its current line-up includes a Handcrafted Tiger Bloomer, Handcrafted Country White Cob, brioche buns, bagels, pittas, rolls, and sliced white and brown loaves. Ready-to-roll pastry, savoury pies, breakfast bakes, muffins and cupcakes are also features in its portfolio.

“We are passionate about our products and this extra funding not only allows us to re-invest into our business and premises, but also to re-focus on expanding our presence in the UK and Europe under the Katjes Group umbrella,” said Genius Foods CEO Dr Peter Quinn.

The full terms of the package, provided by financial services company Shawbrook, includes a £5m invoice-financing line, a £1.5m property loan and a £1m cashflow loan over a three-year term. Genius and Shawbrook were first introduced in 2019 and stayed in contact throughout the acquisition, with the latter chosen to provide the funding due to what it described as a ‘steadfast commitment to the deal’ against a backdrop of rising costs and further supply uncertainties.

“Shawbrook has been incredibly supportive over the past four years, working closely with our team through last year’s acquisition and the tough economic climate,” Quinn added.

David Cayzer, director at Shawbrook, added that the firm was excited to support Genius in its latest phase of growth under the new ownership.

“Genius Foods have a clear strategy to expand their customer base and provide high quality products in the increasingly popular free-from food and wellness sectors all over the UK, Europe and beyond,” he said. “We were impressed with the senior team at Genius and were pleased to structure a unique ABL package that supports the business with its longer-term growth plans. We look forward to working with Genius in the future.”