Significant stake in UK firm Meadow sold to Canadian investors

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The value-added ingredients maker is headquartered in Chester. Credit: Meadow
The value-added ingredients maker is headquartered in Chester. Credit: Meadow

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Canadian holdings firm Fairfax Financial has purchased a significant equity stake in Meadow.

Fairfax Financial acquired the stake in the value-added ingredients business from London-based private equity firm Exponent.

Exponent, alongside the founding Chantler family, purchased a stake in Meadow in 2018, and both retain a smaller share in the business following the sale. No financial details of the transaction were disclosed.

Partnered with food manufacturers around the world, Meadow boasts a team of experts in the dairy, confectionery and plant-based sectors.

The ingredients maker recently acquired sweet sauces maker Naked Foods and employs more than 500 people across BRC accredited sites in Peterborough, Holme-on-Spalding Moor, Dolgellau and Headcorn, as well as at its headquarters in Chester.

Meanwhile, Toronto-based Fairfax Financial is primarily engaged in property and casualty insurance and the associated investment management. The firm states that its approach to investment is informed by a long-term value-oriented philosophy.

Fairfax Financial a ‘perfect partner’ for Meadow

Chief executive at Meadow, Raj Tugnait, said of the deal: “To have caught the eye of an investor like Fairfax Financial is an excellent outcome for Meadow as they are the perfect partner for our future growth.

“We look forward to a long-term, sustainable partnership and continuing to deliver growth and opportunities for our customers, suppliers and colleagues​.”

Meadow’s acquisition of Naked Foods earlier this month (August 2023)​, followed the purchase of decorations, topping and inclusions firm Nimbus Foods at the end of 2019 from ambient food group Valeo Foods.

Mark Taylor, partner at Exponent, described Meadow as a “trusted partner​” to some of the biggest food and drink manufacturing firms in the world.

Over the course of our partnership, the business has generated significant organic and inorganic growth, including four bolt-on acquisitions, and accelerated its shift into more value-added ingredients​,” Taylor added.

In other news, Britvic has invested £22.5m in new technology at its London factory​.

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