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Novax has agreed to acquire a majority shareholding in Ulrick & Short Limited, a UK-based leading clean label food ingredients specialist.

The transaction will see Ulrick & Short continue to operate as a standalone business, with the company’s founders Adrian Short and Andrew Ulrick staying on as minority shareholders and existing management team remaining in place.

The transaction marks Novax’s continued commitment to engage in a more sustainable Future of Food by investing in the European specialty food ingredients market. Ulrick & Short is highly specialised in clean label and plant based, natural ingredients and is well positioned to capture the long-term secular trends of consumers and food manufacturers shifting towards healthier and more sustainable food alternatives. The company operates as a co-development partner to food manufacturers looking to develop new clean label products or to refine existing product ranges into healthier alternatives.

Adrian Short, founder, director and shareholder, will continue to lead the business in this next stage of its growth and said of the partnership with Novax: “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. “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.”

Andrew Ulrick, founder, director and shareholder, said of the partnership with Novax: I believe that in Novax we have found a partner with a compatible culture and who will provide significant support in the future direction and growth of Ulrick & Short.

For Novax, the transaction is another decisive step into the Food Value Chain, a focus sector of the firm. Pär Warnström, Senior Investment Manager and Sector Manager Food at Novax:

“We are both proud and excited to partner up with Adrian, Andrew and the whole team at Ulrick & Short in this next chapter of their journey. 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. We look forward to together with Adrian and the team grow Ulrick & Short and continue on this mission.”

Novax was advised on the transaction by Oghma Partners LLP, Walker Morris LLP and Ernst & Young.

Ulrick & Short was advised on the transaction by Messis Finance, Rollits LLP and Smailes Goldie Group

About Ulrick & Short
Ulrick & Short is a leading clean label ingredients specialist, supplying household name food manufacturers across the world with clean label, gluten free, non GM, plant based and organic ingredients, and innovating across a diverse range of food industry sectors including bakery, meat, dairy, soups, and sauces. The company has shown continuous growth in revenue and profitability, is AA BRC accredited, has a team of dedicated food technologists based in the UK & Holland, and works hand in hand with customers to maximize value from product development.

About Novax
Novax is a European long-term investor and operating partner. We are the investment company of the Stockholm-based, EUR 8bn Axel Johnson Group, founded in 1873 and owned & run by the 4th and 5th generation of the Swedish Johnson family. Building on our soon 150-year history, we are long-term in everything we do and have no exit agenda in our commitments. We partner up with companies in journeys sharing that long-term vision and view of building businesses – often being entrepreneur-led or family owned. Our commitment is to build and support leading and profitable businesses over the long haul.