VFC projects that the deal, which is currently going through final-stage due diligence, will boost its sales by 30%. The move represents VFC’s second strategic acquisition, coming not long after the brand rescued alternative protein manufacturer Meatless Farm from administration in June 2023.
Based in Devon, Clive’s produces a range of vegan pies, quiches and nut roasts which are stocked by retailers including Waitrose, Ocado, Asda, and Abel & Cole.
The deal will see VFC acquire the Clive’s brand and its production facility in Dartmouth. Previously, VFC has not been involved in the primary manufacturing of its products, but the group plans to use this newly acquired capacity to grow its presence.
Looking ahead, Clive's will continue to operate as normal, but now as a subsidiary of its new parent company with support from its existing team. Following the deal in June, Meatless Farm also retained its brand identity.
Speaking following the announcement of the deal, Clive’s managing director Esther Pearson described VFC as a “like-minded partner” that could support the brand through a period of “accelerated growth”.
“We are committed to maintaining business as usual with all existing customers and ensuring that we uphold our high standards of customer service,” Pearson added.
VFC in ‘formidable’ position
Meanwhile, VFC chief executive Dave Sparrow commented on the “impressive growth” that Clive’s has experienced in recent years, a trend that made the possibility of this acquisition “particularly appealing”.
Sparrow elaborated: "The acquisition of Clive's, following the successful addition of Meatless Farm, positions VFC Foods as a formidable player in the market. With three strong brands experiencing substantial growth, we are well-positioned to further penetrate the retail and foodservice sectors in the UK and Europe.”
While VFC is focused on the production of meat-free ‘chicken’ alternatives, Sparrow believes that the addition of the Clive’s range of vegetable-based pies and quiches to the group’s portfolio diversifies its offering.
"Reducing meat consumption is crucial for a healthier and more sustainable future, and consumers are increasingly seeking varied options in the plant-based aisle, including high-quality vegetable-based products,” he continued.
“Clive's perfectly complements our portfolio and enhances our ability to meet this growing demand.”