Announcing the transaction, Novax – the investment arm of Swedish group Axel Johnson – said Ulrick & Short will continue to operate as a standalone business. The company’s founders Adrian Short and Andrew Ulrick will remain minority shareholders and the existing management team will remain in place under the leadership of Short as CEO.
“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,” Short commented.
“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. The next stage of the journey is going to be an exciting one.”
Ulrick & Short – which produces clean label starches, flours, proteins and fibres – said that the agreement comes after ‘remarkably strong business growth’ and ‘consecutive record years’. A spokesperson for the company told FoodNavigator that this trajectory is expected to lift following the acquisition.
“We have significant plans for growth which this deal will only accelerate, details of which we’ll be announcing in the coming weeks and months.”
Novax putting ‘innovation, health and sustainability in focus’
Novax said the move shows its ‘continued commitment’ to engaging in a ‘more sustainable future of food’ by investing in the European specialty food ingredient market. Novax noted Ulrick & Short is ‘well positioned to capture the long-term secular trends of consumers and food manufacturers shifting towards healthier and more sustainable food alternatives’.
Pär Warnström, Senior Investment Manager and Sector Manager Food at Novax, said the company is ‘proud and excited’ to partner with Ulrick & Short.
“As a long-term thematic investor and operating partner, we are pleased to offer our enduring commitment to together with the team build and expand Ulrick & Short over the years to come. The company illustrates much of what we believe are hallmarks of an exceptional business in a promising market – a strong and experienced management team, a competitive leading niche position with a demonstrated strength in its business model, and decades of experience and expertise under the hood.
“At Novax, we remain determined to take an active part in driving the food industry forward with innovation, health and sustainability in focus,” Warnström commented.