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Phil Hails Smith

Top ranked London law firm Joelson has assisted the founder and shareholders of Metcalfe’s Skinny Limited with the sale of the Metcalfe’s Skinny to food giant Kettle Foods

In January 2016 Kettle Foods, a subsidiary of Snyder’s-Lance Inc., acquired a 26 per cent stake in Metcalfe’s – one of the UK’s leading premium popcorn brands.

Founded by Julian Metcalfe – the co-founder of Pret-A-Manger and founder of Itsu – in 2009 the business has capitalised on the booming UK popcorn market, which is one of the fastest growing categories within the UK snack food industry, growing by 45 per cent over the last two years.

Based upon this success, Kettle Foods decided to acquire more of the business as part of its ambition to evolve into a more widely-based snack provider within the European market. It then began the process of acquiring the additional 74 per cent in the leading UK premium popcorn brand.

During both the investment in January 2016 and the follow-on sale Joelson’s experienced team of solicitors acted for the founder and principal shareholder of Metcalfe’s Skinny Limited, Julian Metcalfe, providing a range of legal services.

Julian Metcalfe, best described the nature of the acquisition. He said: “Thank you to Phil and the team you have become a part of the team here at Skinny and everyone at the company has been delighted with the support and assistance Joelson have provided since last year and leading up to completion.”

Phil Hails-Smith, Corporate and Commercial partner at Joelson, said: “We were really happy to work with Julian and the team at Metcalfe’s Skinny to secure this deal. Since it was launched in 2009 it has grown significantly as a brand and this was clearly recognised by Kettle Foods.

“Our work on this deal represents many months of hard work and we are glad to have worked so closely with Julian and the team to get a great result for them. Julian was keen to ensure that the popcorn brand he created has gone to a good home and that was one of the key factors in the successful negotiations with Kettle Foods.”

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