Devon food brand acquired by national brand

One of the UK’s most recognisable humous brands has been acquired by the leading provider of fresh prepared food.

Bakkavor Group has acquired Devon based Moorish. Advisors from the Midlands offices of Dow Schofield Watts, Gunnercooke and Gowling WLG acted on the deal.

The Moorish brand was founded in 2012 by Julie Waddell and the product range includes the award-winning, UK-first, smoked humous.

Moorish products are distributed across a number of major supermarket outlets and independent retailers.

Moorish will sit alongside other brands that Bakkavor is working with, including Pizza Express, The Delicious Dessert Company, The Pizza Company and more recently Pinch. The managing director of Moorish, Andy Atherton, will remain in a consultancy role to support the brand transition to Bakkavor’s new ownership.

Julie Waddell, founder of Moorish, said: “Since starting from my kitchen table in 2012, it’s been quite a journey to see the business grow into what it is today. I’m incredibly proud of what Moorish has achieved and have thoroughly enjoyed growing the brand and product range from scratch to success with my team. I feel very fortunate that for the last 12 years my job has been to create innovative, delicious products that are loved by consumers across the UK. In Bakkavor, there are so many great opportunities still to explore with the brand and I will enjoy watching Moorish flourish as the new owners take it to the next level.”

Mike Edwards, chief executive of Bakkavor Group, said: “The high-quality, innovative Moorish products will be a great addition to our existing brands and will complement our existing dips business. The Moorish brand has so much more potential than just humous and we are excited about expanding it into other relevant Bakkavor categories in the future. We’d like to congratulate Julie, Andy and the team on the great brand they have built and are looking forward to it growing further under our ownership.”

A corporate finance team from Dow Schofield Watts’ Leicester office led by partner Harry Walker, director Fahim Kassam and associate director Daniel Chouciño, together with a legal team from Gunnercooke in Leicester led by Jahid Ali, advised the shareholders of Moorish. Bakkavor Group plc were advised by a team from Gowling WLG’s Birmingham office, led by Chris Towle and Andreea Serban.

Harry Walker added: “We’re really pleased to have found a fantastic partner for Moorish moving forwards. Working with Julie, Andy and the team to prepare the business for sale and then identify the right home has been a pleasure. We are looking forward to seeing Moorish in even more outlets in the future and continuing to enjoy their amazing products.”