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BWG invests €10m in Fresh as upmarket chain expands

Dec 23, 2019

Independent.ie Spar operator in Ireland takes 38pc of grocery retailer BWG property director John Clohisey and chief executive Leo Crawford, with Fresh founder Noel Smith. Photo: Chris Bellew Independent.ie Irish retail group BWG, which operates the Spar and Londis franchises in Ireland, is taking a 38pc stake in upmarket grocery chain Fresh as part of a €10m investment in the business. https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/bwg-invests-10m-in-fresh-as-upmarket-chain-expands-38806633.html Irish retail group BWG, which operates the Spar and Londis franchises in Ireland, is taking a 38pc stake in upmarket grocery chain Fresh as part of a €10m investment in the business. The investment will allow Dublin-focused chain Fresh The Good Food Market to accelerate its expansion plans, as well as upgrade its existing portfolio of shops. Fresh plans to identify and develop new store locations across the Greater Dublin area. It now has seven stores in Dublin, with the latest Fresh store launched in Capital Dock in October. The company's next shop in Dublin's new urban quarter, Dublin Landings, will open in the second quarter of 2020. Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article. The existing Fresh stores are in Grand Canal Dock, IFSC, Camden Street, Smithfield and Stepaside. Under the deal, John Clohisey, a director of BWG Group, will join the board of Fresh Opportunities Limited, the operator of the Fresh brand in Ireland. Fresh employs more than 300 staff and had a turnover of just over €29m and pre-tax profits of €1.1m in 2018. Established in Dublin in 2006, Fresh sells gourmet, fresh and speciality produce, as well as stocking premium wines and craft beers. Following on from the investment, BWG becomes a significant shareholder in the growing retail business, with a 38pc stake, while Fresh founder and managing director Noel Smith will continue to hold a majority shareholding in the company. Smith said: "We welcome this significant investment in our company by BWG, which demonstrates huge confidence in the Fresh brand. I am looking forward to strengthening our relationship with BWG as we expand our business over the coming years." Leo Crawford, chief executive of BWG Group, said: "Fresh is a very successful speciality food offering that appeals to an exciting and growing segment of the Irish convenience food sector. "The investment is consistent with our focus on ensuring our multi-brand retail portfolio caters for the wide-ranging needs of convenience customers. "We look forward to working with Noel Smith and his team to identify other exciting opportunities to grow the business and the brand." Fresh Opportunities worked closely with Brian McGann, chairman of corporate finance firm Focus Capital Partners, who advised on the agreement. In 2018, Fresh was named the NACS International Convenience Retailer of the Year for its Camden Street store. It also won IGD's Small Store of the Year accolade in the same year, as well as Retail Excellence Ireland's Best Supermarket Group. BWG is majority-owned by Spar Group in South Africa, and operates convenience store brands in Ireland and the UK. Its portfolio of brands includes Spar, Eurospar, Mace, Londis and XL stores. Sunday Independent

John Clohisey Investments

1 Investments

John Clohisey has made 1 investments. Their latest investment was in SiSu as part of their Angel on October 10, 2017.

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John Clohisey Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

10/30/2017

Angel

SiSu

$0.47M

Yes

1

Date

10/30/2017

Round

Angel

Company

SiSu

Amount

$0.47M

New?

Yes

Co-Investors

Sources

1

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