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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Huel founder in line for hundreds of millions from £1bn float

The founder of Huel is in line for a fortune worth hundreds of millions of pounds as the meal-replacement drinks maker gears up for a London listing that could value it at up to £1bn.

Julian Hearn, the founder, holds a 53pc stake in the business he founded in 2015, according to Companies House filings.

Huel, or “human fuel”, drinks have been a hit among health conscious, time-poor millennials, thanks to their vegan and lactose-free ingredients. 

The company makes drinks designed to replace breakfast and lunch as well as one-pot hot meals and protein bars. Its website claims fans, known as “Hueligans”, who use Huel products can save five hours of meal preparation time a week.

Mr Hearn left school at 16 “with two Es” before working as a labourer and ultimately returning to education, studying at Bournemouth University. He worked in marketing at Tesco and Starbucks before founding a creative agency, which he sold in 2011. 

He launched Huel from his garage in 2015, claiming he wanted to do “the right thing for the planet” with its alternatives to meat and unhealthy meals.

The company has hired Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan to advise on a potential float in 2022, the Financial Times first reported. Its other options could include a sale. 

The Telegraph understands the company will seek a valuation in the region of £1bn, although the process remains at an early stage. Huel declined to comment.

Its only other significant shareholder is venture fund Highland Europe, which invested £20m in the business in 2018, valuing Huel at £220m at the time.

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