GU Milk Chocolate Mousse with Biscuit

Source: Gü

Private equity firm Exponent has acquired premium dessert brand Gü from Noble Foods.

The sale, which is expected to be complete in June, was for an undisclosed sum and will see the firm grow its international presence having seen a ‘strong and growing’ demand in France and Germany.

“We are excited to be partnering with Exponent on the next stage of Gü’s growth journey,” said Gü managing director Pete Utting, who added that Noble had been a great custodian of the brand.

“Exponent has already committed to a significant investment to further increase capacity at our UK site, which will enable us to meet our future demand from the UK, Europe and the US.”

Exponent has a strong track record in adding value to food and drink brands, noted Utting, most notably returning vegetarian brand Quorn to growth and growing its international business during its ownership of the brand between 2011 and 2016.

Noble Foods acquired Gü in 2010 and has grown it over the past decade, including investing in its manufacturing facility in Bishops Stortford which opened in 2018.

Last year the dessert brand saw retail sales grow 25% to £69m [Nielsen 52 w/e 24 April 2021] with sales underpinned by a raft of NPD including hot puddings, cheesecakes and mousses.

Duncan Everett, CEO of Noble Foods Group, added: “We strongly believe that Exponent has the necessary expertise to grow the Gü business even further, especially increasing its international reach. The sale allows us to invest and grow Noble Foods’ core business and brands.”

Simon Davidson, senior partner at Exponent, said the firm was “very pleased” to welcome Gü to its portfolio. “We have followed the business for over a decade, having recognised its exceptional brand, great products and strong growth potential,” he added.

“We now look forward to supporting Pete and the team as they deliver its next phase of growth. Building on its success in the UK, we believe Gü has enormous international potential with the opportunity to create a truly global, premium indulgence brand.”