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Innocent smoothie maker sells £30m stake to Coca-Cola

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by Peter Charalambous
”Innocent

Smoothie maker Innocent is to receive £30 million from Coca-Cola, in return for a 20 percent stake, which will be used to drive the business and extend into European markets.

Innocent has been the recipient of heavy criticism during the negotiations, however co-founder Richard Reed has hit out at the financing deal saying that the founders are excited at the investment as it is simply a way of expanding and getting more natural products out to even more people.

He reiterated that the minority investment does not affect the way the company will be run, or the way that they make their products and that every promise Innocent has made regarding the use of socially and environmentally friendly ingredients and packaging will be upheld.

The reason why Innocent chose Coca-Cola as an investor was due to the fact that they have been in business for over 120 years and there is also the hope that Innocent will, in turn, be able to influence their thinking too, said Reed.

The 20 percent sale marks a pinnacle moment and is also the latest start-up success that has sold up to a giant corporate recently, following in the footsteps of the Pret-a-Manger McDonald’s deal and organic chocolate company, Green & Black’s, being taken over by Cadbury.

Located at Fruit Towers in West London, Innocent runs village fetes and markets itself at the Fruitstock festival in Regent‘s Park.

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News posted: April 7, 2009

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