The future of Planet Organic has been secured after administrators from Interpath Advisory sold the majority parts of the business and its assets to Bioren Limited, whose shareholders include the founders of Planet Organic, Renée and Brian Elliott.
Interpath Advisory were appointed administrators to Planet Organic Limited on Tuesday.
The deal will see 10 Planet Organic stores continue to trade in locations throughout London safeguarding 265 jobs (across the stores and head office). Four stores are not included in the sale – Tottenham Court Road, Bermondsey and the new out of London locations at Henley-on-Thames and Teddington, which will see 64 jobs go.
When the retailer announced recently that it was lining up administrators after investment talks with Waitrose had dramatically broken down, the speculation was that likely suitors (Holland & Barrett and Sainsbury’s were both reported to be in the frame) would only be interested in buying the brand.
Founded in 1995, the Planet Organic has grown over the past 28 years to become the UK’s largest chain of Soil Association certified organic shops, operating from 14 sites across London and the South East of England.
Shortly after the end of the pandemic, the Company’s directors embarked on a new growth phase that required significant restructuring and changes within the business. While the underlying business is strong and the Company’s stores were largely profitable, the business as a whole was lossmaking, which ultimately led to the appointment of the administrators.
The new owners say they plan to return to Planet Organic’s vision and values, “reinvigorating the business by celebrating its mission, ‘To promote health in the community’, and to renew training and culture, with the aim of inspiring people to eat well and create personal health and vitality while supporting the earth’s health and biodiversity”.
Will Wright, head of restructuring at Interpath Advisory and joint administrator, said: “Planet Organic is a well-respected brand with wonderful stores and hard working people that genuinely care about the customer experience – which is why over the years it has grown a very loyal customer base.”
Gareth Slater, director at Interpath Advisory who led the sales process, added: “After a competitive process, we’re delighted to have concluded this transaction which will see the Planet Organic name continue to trade and, importantly, protects a large number of jobs. We know that the new owners have exciting plans for the business and we wish them the very best for the future and look forward to seeing the business go from strength to strength.”