Scottish investor takes majority stake in heath & wellbeing retailer

Inverleith LLP, the specialist consumer brands investor, has taken a majority stake in Planet Organic, the London health and wellbeing supermarket, food-to-go chain and online retailer.

Inverleith has injected equity into the Company to expand the existing store footprint in London, to more than double the current portfolio of stores over the next 5 years.

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Ben Thomson, Chairman of Inverleith LLP commented, “This is an interesting time of change for the High Street with shoppers wanting more community-based shopping.  Consumers are looking for an experience when they shop and for real knowledge about the products offered. They care deeply about the quality and provenance of products they buy and increasingly search for items which help them lead a holistic healthy lifestyle.

“Planet Organic is the original, oldest and best organic supermarket chain in the UK.  It has a fantastic depth of knowledge and heritage in food, beauty and health. Shoppers can sit in, enjoying healthy smoothies, juices and have a bite to eat, they can take food away or they can shop for food, health and beauty products.

“This is the sort of shopping that is the future of the high street and we are pleased to be helping Planet Organic to open in other locations around London”.

Planet Organic currently has seven stores across London, three in the centre of London at Devonshire Square, Torrington Place and Tottenham Court Road and a further four at Muswell Hill, Wandsworth, Westbourne Grove and Islington. Planetorganic.com delivers nationwide and offers a popular collect in store service for the communities near the London stores.

Stella Morse, Chief Financial Officer of Inverleith LLP, who will join the Board following the acquisition, added, “As a specialist consumer brand investor with a focus on health and wellness, we look for companies that have a unique selling point and a strong defendable market position. In Planet Organic, we have a retailer and a brand which is at the forefront of the natural and organic movement in the United Kingdom, a category which continues to expand. We’re excited about the opportunity to support Planet Organic in its mission to take natural and organic products to an ever-increasing number of consumers whether that be through an engaging retail store environment or online.”

The existing management team, led by Planet Organic Chief Executive Peter Marsh, is enthusiastic about the future of the business and the opportunity of the store roll out.  He said, “The last store we opened was on Tottenham Court Road in 2015, and the ability to now look at opening three or four new sites a year is really exciting.  Most of our employees have been at Planet Organic for many years and are looking forward to serving wider London communities.”

Planet Organic was advised on the transaction by Spayne Lindsay & Co, the specialist corporate finance advisory firm focused on the international consumer sector.

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