09/02/2017

Finance Wales backs former Welsh rugby stars to expand sports nutrition business

Former Welsh rugby stars Scott Morgan and Barry Davies are celebrating the completion of a £650,000 equity investment to support the expansion of their sports nutrition business set up in 2012.

Ex-Cardiff Blues and Newport Gwent Dragons’ lock Morgan, originally started Nutrivend with a £50,000 micro loan from Finance Wales and investment from a xénos business angel. With fellow Welsh rugby player Barry Davies also on board the professional-rugby-players-turned-businessmen are now looking to accelerate the company’s growth after securing follow-on equity and mezzanine investment from Finance Wales.

Nutrivend has grown rapidly over the last four years creating 16 jobs at its Llantrisant offices. The company provides gyms across the UK with vending machines stocking a range of branded sports nutrition items for clients such as The Gym Group andXercise4less.

Morgan and Davies will use Finance Wales’ investment from the Wales Business Fund to recruit new staff, expand the company’s storage facilities and ramp up sales of new vending machines to Nutrivend’s growing customer base.

“Low-cost gyms are booming in the UK and I launched Nutrivend to capitalise on a gap in the market. Four years on we have strong supplier relationships across the UK and expect to turnover £3 million this year.”

“The backing of Finance Wales, and our xenos angel investor has been instrumental in helping us establish Nutrivend and get to where we are today.  We want to continue our success and an equity package from Finance Wales means we get to benefit from the support and expertise of an experienced investor as well as its financial backing,” Morgan explained.

With a clear vision for his business, Morgan has focused on developing its management team. xénos introduced Morgan to Nutrivend’s chairman, Ex-PWC Partner Nigel Skinner in 2013 and fellow ex-Welsh rugby player Barry Davies also joined the company as a Director.
 
Morgan was also keen to put in place a funding structure to support his goals and worked with Portfolio Development Team Manager, John Mihell to structure Finance Wales’ investment.

Commenting on the investment, he said: “We’re always pleased to see our portfolio businesses prosper and to be able to support them with follow-on investment. Equity can be a good fit for successful companies like Nutrivend who are looking to accelerate their growth. With a strong management team in place and a sector with year-on-year growth we’re happy to support the company’s long-term expansion plans.”

“Our team has worked closely with Scott over the last 4 years to understand his business and we’ve tailored our latest investment to provide him with the capital he needs to expand.  We’ve also built in flexible repayment options aligned to future company performance. Scott can now take on the new staff he needs and implement important operational changes as Nutrivend gears up for further growth.” 

With the total UK gym membership up 5.3% to 9.2 million in 2016 and the market valued at an estimated £4.4 billion, Morgan believes the future is bright for the business:“We are extremely ambitious and believe we have a business model that can scale up for future expansion. We want to continue growing every year and aim to have 2000 vending machines across the UK, wholesale distribution and an online ecommerce platform by 2020. ”