Harris Williams Advises graze on its Sale to Unilever

February 5, 2019

Harris Williams, a global investment bank specializing in M&A advisory services, announces the sale of Nature Delivered Ltd. (trading as graze), a portfolio company of Carlyle Europe Technology Partners, on its sale to Unilever. graze is a technology-enabled healthy snacks brand that sells its products online, directly to consumers and in retail. The transaction, led by Glenn Gurtcheff, William Bain, Ryan Freeman, Andreas Poth, Andy Warczak and Faye Maughan of Harris Williams’ Consumer Group, extends the firm’s track record in the healthy snack sector.

“Unilever is a strong cultural fit for graze; they share a common vision for the roles healthy snacking and direct-to-consumer will play in helping to shape the future landscape of food,” said Ryan Freeman, a director at Harris Williams. “The partnership between the two businesses provides a compelling platform for future growth. We wish them all the best for the future.”

“graze is a unique, innovative company and a pioneer in the healthy snack sector, well positioned at the forefront of evolving consumer preferences and trends. It has been a privilege to work with graze’s senior team to find the right partner,” said William Bain, a managing director at Harris Williams.

graze, one of the U.K.’s largest healthy snacking brands, has been helping consumers reimagine how snacking can fuel their busy lives over the last 10 years. With an innovative tech-led multichannel model operating direct-to-consumers, online and via retail, the business has access to unique data enabling it to pioneer innovation, as well as maintain relationships with its most loyal customers. graze is present in over 30,000 top retailers across the U.K., as well as national U.S. retailers such as Target, Walgreens and 7-Eleven.

The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global investment firm with $212 billion of assets under management across 339 investment vehicles as of September 30, 2018. Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, many of whom are public pensions. Carlyle invests across four segments – corporate private equity, real assets, global credit and investment solutions – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense and government services; consumer and retail; energy; financial services; healthcare; industrial; real estate; technology and business services; telecommunications and media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,625 people in 31 offices across six continents.

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of beauty and personal care, home care and foods and refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. It has 161,000 employees and generated sales of €53.7 billion in 2017. Over half (57 percent) of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes all over the world, including Persil, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Wall’s, PG Tips, Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum and Lynx.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) underpins the company’s strategy and commits to:

  • Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
  • Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
  • Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.

The USLP creates value by driving growth and trust, eliminating costs and reducing risks. The company’s sustainable living brands are growing 46 percent faster than the rest of the business and delivered 70 percent of the company’s growth in 2017.

Unilever was ranked as an industry leader in the 2018 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the FTSE4Good Index, it achieved the highest environmental score of 5. It led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2017 GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey for the seventh year running, and achieved four A ratings across Climate Change, Water, Forests and Supplier Engagement in CDP's 2018 Global Supply Chain report. Unilever has pledged to become carbon positive in its operations by 2030, and to ensure 100 percent of its plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Harris Williams, an investment bank specializing in M&A advisory services, advocates for sellers and buyers of companies worldwide through critical milestones and provides thoughtful advice during the lives of their businesses. By collaborating as one firm across Industry Groups and geographies, the firm helps its clients achieve outcomes that support their objectives and strategically create value. Harris Williams is committed to execution excellence and to building enduring, valued relationships that are based on mutual trust. Harris Williams is a subsidiary of the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC).

Harris Williams’ Consumer Group has completed more than 50 transactions in recent years across a variety of verticals, including branded consumer products; consumer services; food, beverage and agribusiness; and restaurant and retail.  For more information on Harris Williams’ Consumer Group and other recent transactions, visit the Consumer Group’s section of the Harris Williams website.

Harris Williams LLC is a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC. Harris Williams & Co. Ltd is a private limited company incorporated under English law with its registered office at 5th Floor, 6 St. Andrew Street, London EC4A 3AE, UK, registered with the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales (registration number 07078852). Harris Williams & Co. Ltd is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Harris Williams & Co. Corporate Finance Advisors GmbH is registered in the commercial register of the local court of Frankfurt am Main, Germany, under HRB 107540. The registered address is Bockenheimer Landstrasse 33-35, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany (email address: hwgermany@harriswilliams.com). Geschäftsführer/Directors: Jeffery H. Perkins, Paul Poggi. (VAT No. awaited). Harris Williams is a trade name under which Harris Williams LLC, Harris Williams & Co. Ltd and Harris Williams & Co. Corporate Finance Advisors GmbH conduct business.