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04 May 2016

Charles Russell Speechlys advises shareholders of Vital Ingredient on its sale to LDC

Charles Russell Speechlys advised shareholders Alex Heynes and Paul Oberschneider on the sale of Vital Ingredient, one of the fastest growing, healthy fast food chains in the capital, to private equity firm LDC.

LDC backed the company's management buyout as part of a £12 million funding package to support national expansion. The deal has seen real estate entrepreneur, Paul Oberschneider, sell the 50 per cent. stake he acquired in the business in 2011, and Alex Heynes remains a key member of the management team in Vital Ingredient following the management buyout. The buyout team led by Alex includes Managing Director Paolo Peretti and Finance Director John Moulton.

Founder of Vital Ingredient, Alex Heynes, opened its first store in London’s West End 15 years ago, and the business now operates 17 stores in the capital which offer a range of fresh, healthy, natural and responsibly-sourced ingredients for consumers to create their own food-to-go meals.

The deal will enable the business to continue growing its London presence and support expansion into new cities across the UK. LDC are backing management to more than double the estate within the next three years to at least 35 stores. It will also be introducing new store formats and exploring new brand partnerships as part of its growth strategy.

Alex Heynes said:

“I am grateful to the Charles Russell Speechlys team for their support over the last 5 years and for their pragmatic and solution-driven approach to completing this transaction. The LDC investment marks the start of Vital Ingredient’s next chapter and we are looking forward to continued growth and new opportunities ahead. ”

The Charles Russell Speechlys team was led by Partner David Coates and Corporate Associates Charlie Ring and Genevieve Morrall. Senior Associate Eddie Richards advised on real estate elements with Martin Griffiths advising on tax.

David Coates commented:

“We are delighted to have advised the shareholders of Vital Ingredient on the sale to LDC. The transaction represents a significant milestone for Paul Oberschneider in exiting the business and also for founder Alex Heynes and the rest of the management team who can look forward to exciting times ahead. The transaction represents another important example of Charles Russell Speechlys acting for entrepreneurial and private wealth clients. ”

LDC were advised by Burges Salmon, led by Partner Richard Spink.