A Bristol-based organic herbal tea provider has been acquired by consumer goods giant Unilever.
Pukka Herbs was founded in 2001 by Tim Westwell and Sebastian Pole and now works with suppliers and farmers in 30 countries to source ingredients for its herbal teas and remedies.
The business exports to more than 40 markets, including Scandinavia, Japan and Australia, and was named on the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table with overseas turnover of £14.9m last year.
Unilever will run Pukka as a separately managed business entity with the founders remaining involved.
The group is one of the World’ largest tea companies with brands including PG Tips, Lipton and Lyons.
Sebastian Pole, Pukka co-founder and master herbsmith, said: “Choosing Unilever came down to scale and sustainability. It is a leader in calling for business to act as a force for good; it welcomes our herbal knowledge and wants us to influence positively from within.
“Pukka will remain true to its values – 100 per cent organic, a B Company, a champion for fair trading through pioneering schemes like Fair for Life, and we will continue to donate 1 per cent of sales to global environmental charities annually.”
Kevin Havelock, Unilever’s refreshment category president, added: “Pukka has strong values and a clear purpose that aligns fully with our own sustainable growth model. Both of us believe in business being a force for good in society. Tim and Sebastian have cultivated Pukka into a successful business without ever compromising ingredients or their ideals.”
Shaw & Co acted as lead advisor to the founders of Pukka Herbs.