22nd March 2021

Pemberton supports Exponent's acquisition of PROPER and merger with EatREAL


Overview

Pemberton, a leading European private debt manager transforming traditional credit markets, has provided financing to support Exponent’s acquisition of Proper and its merger with Eat Real, two leading healthier snacking companies in the United Kingdom. The financing is complemented by an acquisition and capex committed facility.

Founded in 2014 by Priyesh Patel, Eat Real has grown into the UK’s number one ‘free-from’ snacking brand. Proper, founded by Cassandra Stavrou and Ryan Kohn in 2011, is a pioneer in UK healthy snacking. The two businesses will be integrated as one Group and will continue to operate under their respective brand names. The Group will be headquartered in London and led by Exponent Chair Kevin Brennan (former CEO of Quorn) and CEO Chris Schulze-Melander (former European CEO of Ecover – Method).

Better-for-you (BFY) products are growing quickly within the £4bn crisps and snacks market in the UK, driven by consumer demand for healthier snacking and successful innovation by companies such as Eat Real and Proper. The two businesses share an ambition to expand their customer base and accelerate their innovation pipelines.

Pemberton supported Exponent’s acquisition and merger of Proper and Eat Real through its Strategic Credit strategy. This acquisition builds on Exponent’s extensive experience in the food and beverage sector, with current and past investments including Vibrant Foods, Quorn Foods, Loch Lomond and Meadow Foods.

Providing bespoke financing solutions through our Strategic Credit strategy is a unique part of the Pemberton toolkit. Exponent is a top-tier sponsor, and we are excited to partner with them in this investment. We see the better-for-you snacking business playing an important role, offering delicious yet healthier snacking options to consumers.

– Cassandra Rivilla-Lutterkort, Director at Pemberton

We approached Pemberton as a trusted partner to provide a flexible financing package within a relatively limited time period. Their knowledge of the food sector, and snacking in particular, was crucial to the swift delivery of the financing package. The financing is complemented by an acquisition and capex committed facility which will help us grow the business further.

– James Gunton, Partner at Exponent

About the author

Cassandra Rivilla-Lutterkort

Director at Pemberton