Edinburgh meal delivery firm Parsley Box to delist shares after disastrous year since £80m flotation

Parsley Box, the Edinburgh-based meal delivery firm, has set out a roadmap to delist from the stock market following the recent collapse in its share price.

The firm delivers ready meals that do not need to be stored in a fridge or freezer, direct to the “underserved baby boomer-plus consumer”, broadly defined as those aged 60 and over. It has faced stiff competition from a number of rivals. Last month, the group revealed that it was considering delisting from London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) following a challenging period since last year’s flotation. It said the cancellation of its shares “may provide greater opportunities to raise any additional capital required by the company in the future”.

Parsley Box shareholders have had a testing time since the group’s initial public offering in March 2021, when it floated for 200p a share with a valuation in excess of £80 million. In an update, the firm said it proposed to cancel admission of its ordinary shares to trading on AIM and re-register the business as a private limited company.

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Bosses listed a number of reasons for the decision to delist, including market volatility and the “considerable management time, cost and the legal and regulatory burden” associated with maintaining a market presence. They noted: “Given the lower costs associated with private limited company status, it is estimated that the cancellation and re-registration will materially reduce the company’s recurring administrative and adviser costs by approximately £400,000 per annum, which the directors believe can be better spent supporting growth in the group’s business.”

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A general meeting will now be held in Edinburgh on December 14 with any share cancellation taking place on December 22. Re-registration as a private company is targeted for December 30.

In September, the firm provided a bullish outlook despite the cost-of-living crisis eating into its first-half numbers. The group saw revenues slump by almost a third as high online shopping volumes experienced during the pandemic were not sustained. New customer revenue reduced as marketing spend was slashed in the first quarter while fresh funding was sought. Chief executive Kevin Dorren told investors: “As with other retailers, 2022 has been challenging for the company as consumers feel the effects of the higher cost of living.”

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Edinburgh-headquartered Parsley Box Group is a direct to consumer provider of ready meals focused on the baby boomer-plus demographic. Picture: Neil Hanna Photography

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