Pizza oven-maker Ooni bakes plan to cash in on pandemic sales boom

Business

A husband and wife team who set up an upmarket outdoor pizza-oven company nearly a decade ago are planning to sell a stake in the business in a deal that could propel them into the ranks of Britain’s wealthiest people.

Sky News has learnt that Ooni, is based in Scotland, is in talks to hire investment banks to advise on the sale of a minority stake in the company.

One City source suggested the company was likely to seek a valuation running to many hundreds of millions of pounds as part of that process.

Ooni, which was previously known as Uuni, has been a big winner from the COVID-19 pandemic, with consumers turning to premium products for cooking and entertaining at home.

The company is understood to have seen a roughly fivefold rise in sales during the last financial year from about £13m to £55m.

Sources said that private equity firms with a track record of investing in consumer goods brands would be among the potential bidders for a stake.

Ooni was founded by Kristian Tapaninaho and Darina Garland, a married couple who were running an education company at the time but were frustrated that they were unable to replicate restaurant-quality pizzas in their oven at home.

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They set up the business in 2012, and have since established a presence for the company in the US and mainland Europe.

Their pizza ovens sell from £249, and the company offers a buyback option within 60 days if customers are dissatisfied with the product.

Ooni declined to comment.

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