Profile Capital acquires baby food group Little Dish in £17m deal

Deal has delivered second windfall for Irish businessman John Stapleton

 

US investment firm Profile Capital has acquired healthy baby food group Little Dish in a £17 million deal that has delivered a second windfall for Irish businessman John Stapleton.

Mr Stapleton, from Roscommon, founded the group with Hilary Graves in 2005, and it has since grown into a business with reported sales of around £12 million last year and an expanding product range. Speaking to industry magazine, The Grocer, Ms Graves said sales are growing at around 40 per cent, with revenues of £15 million expected by end-2017.

Ms Graves and her husband, chief executive Dean Brown, will stay with the business and retain a minority stake, according to the Grocer, which added that the Profile funding would see Little Dish target the US market as well as expanding further in the UK.

Little Dish currently sells in Ireland through Dunnes Stores, Tesco, SuperValu and some independent grocers.

Little Dish focused on creating nutritious, additive free-chilled meals for toddlers and babies.

Mr Stapleton previously co-founded the New Covent Garden Soup company in 1987. At the time soup was sold either in tins or packets. Mr Stapleton and co-founder Andrew Palmer developed the first fresh soups to be sold from the chill cabinet of stores, leading the way in a new food category. New Covent Garden Soup was sold in the late 1990s to British group Daniels.