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Parsley Box off to slow start on AIM

Parsley Box directors now control around 31.2% of company

Parsley Box, provider of long-life ready meals to older customers, is down by 10.7% per share on its opening day of trading to 187.5p per share. This followed an early rise to 211.8p from a flotation price of 200p as the company made its debut on AIM.

Russell Pointon, Edison Group director of consumer and media, shared a positive outlook for the company after its promising start on the London stock market:

“It has a differentiated product offer (the only D2C ready meal provider offering easy to prepare meals that require no cold storage) and high level of customer service (next day delivery and no subscription required) that are geared to maximising customer convenience,” Pointon said.

“It has a clear opportunity to grow its customer base and their level of spend with the company in structural growth markets. The structural growth drivers include exposure to the fastest growing age demographic, which is currently underserved by other providers, and the ongoing shift of spend on food to e-commerce.”

Parsley Box raised total gross proceeds of £17m (£5m for the company and £12m for selling shareholders) giving an implied market of £83.8m.

Pointon further outlined the next steps fo the company as it seeks to expand its customer base.

“Management plans to scale the business, which is capital light, through increasing the frequency of purchases and AOVs from repeat customers while increasing the new customer base,” said Pointon.

“To facilitate this there will further range extensions (eg more price segmentation and special dietary foods) and broader categories (eg vitamins and functional foods). In addition, management is considering geographic expansion to countries with similar age and meal choice characteristics.”

Gordon and Adrienne MacAuley, a husband and wife team, started the venture in 2017. Kevin Dorren, 52, the Scottish entrepreneur who is involved in businesses such as Diet Chef, TVSquared and Machine Labs, moved from chairman to become chief executive in 2019.

The directors of the company will now control around 32.1% as trading has begun.

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