PAI Partners portfolio company acquires Palace Culture

The French private equity firm’s chilled food platform, The Compleat Food Group, has added another British start-up to its stable.

PAI Partners portfolio company The Compleat Food Group has acquired British, organic, plant-based cheese producer Palace Culture. Financial details were undisclosed.

Palace Culture produces a range of cheeses using its proprietary nut-based fermentation recipe and is the latest addition to PAI’s chilled foods platform.

Compleat was created in 2020 when PAI simultaneously acquired chilled savoury pastry producer Addo Food Group and chilled food supplier Winterbotham Darby, both of which are British companies.

Compleat chief marketing officer Yvonne Adam said in a statement: “Palace Culture was a natural choice to add to our portfolio of leading and distinctive brands that always bring something unique to the table, due to its high quality, exciting product offering and potential for growth. All of this supports our wider strategy and ambition to become the UK’s number one chilled prepared food company.

“Plant-based cheese is a fast growing but relatively untapped market and there is plenty of consumer appetite for genuinely delicious vegan cheeses. We’re now looking forward to using our expertise and scale to introduce shoppers to Palace Culture’s unique range of incredibly tasty products that we know they will love, and we hope to be able to announce additional listings shortly.”

The Compleat group also houses chilled food businesses Pork Farms, Wall’s Pastry, Vadasz and Wrights Food Group. A statement said the group has an annual turnover of £700 million and employs more than 3,500 people across 10 sites.

Palace Culture founder Mirko Parmigiani said: “Born from our family kitchen in Crystal Palace, I combined a love of flavour and a passion for health and sustainability to create nut-based cheeses using raw ingredients. The result has been a range of award-winning delicious plant-based cheeses, and we’re extremely proud of the success the brand has had to date.

“Having seen how The Compleat Food Group has worked with the likes of Vadasz to retain its authenticity and incredible quality, we’re excited for the next chapter of Palace Culture’s evolution and to use The Compleat Food Group’s expertise to continue to innovate and introduce even more people to the world of plant-based vegan cheeses.”