Scotland-based pizza oven manufacturing company, Ooni Pizza Ovens’ founders are reportedly planning to sell a minority stake in the business, seeking a valuation of as many as hundreds of millions of pounds.
According to reports, the husband and wife team that set-up the upscale outdoor pizza-oven firm could enter the ranks of Britain’s wealthiest people as an outcome of the sale.
With the proposed stake sale, the company is said to be cashing in on the COVID-19 pandemic sales which saw consumers increasingly turning to premium products for cooking and entertaining at home. With positive reviews from as far as New York, Ooni’s sales have seen a fivefold rise during the last financial year, from £13 million to £55 million.
The company is currently in discussions to avail services from investment banks for advice regarding the sale. Sources suggest that private equity firms, known for investing in consumer goods brands, would be among the potential bidders interested in buying the stake. Ooni, however, is yet to make a comment about it.
Hailing from West Lothian, Darina Garland and Kristian Tapaninaho had set up the outdoor pizza oven company, previously known as Uuni, in 2012. The married couple, who were running an education company at the time, had come up with the idea while wanting to replicate restaurant-quality pizza at home with their oven. Nearly a decade later, the company has established its presence in mainland Europe as well as in the USA and China.
It has been reported that 20 million pizzas have been cooked in Ooni ovens and that the business has been growing at 400% year on year.
The company, with about 120 employees, had been in the news recently when Diana Garland talked about the environmental sustainability efforts their employees have made in a global TED Countdown Summit held in Edinburgh.
She shared that with the help of Pawprint for Business, a carbon footprint measuring app developed by Edinburgh based Pawprint, the employees were able to cut down their combined emissions by 22,310 kg.
The company’s pizza ovens typically sell from approximately £249, and it also offers 60-day buyback guarantee if its customers are not satisfied with the oven.