EG group diversifies into bakery manufacturing with acquisition of Cooplands bakery chain

UK – British retailer and operator of fast food outlets and petrol station Euro Garages (EG) has acquired baked goods manufacturer and retail bakery chain Cooplands for an undisclosed sum. 

Founded by Frederick and Alice Coopland in 1885, Cooplands employs more than 1,600 colleagues and reportedly is the UK’s second-largest bakery chain. 

The purchase includes three bakeries that process ingredients and manufactures fresh food which is distributed through its supply chain and logistics network to about 180 stores and cafes. 

Following the acquisition, EG plans to diversify the Cooplands brand into the petrol forecourt and retail convenience store channel, alongside the bakery’s traditional store formats, through its ‘extensive’ UK network.  

Commenting on the acquisition, EG Group founders and co-chief executives Zuber and Mohsin Issa said: “Cooplands has a proven track record in the fresh bakery sector and vertical integration with EG Group will help to further drive our success in foodservice, where we continue to see strong growth opportunities in the UK and globally.”  

The vertical integration will broaden the reach of Cooplands beyond the brand’s northern heartlands and bring it to more customers through EG Group’s extensive network of roadside forecourts and retail convenience stores. 

“Cooplands is proud to be joining EG Group and bringing our long history of skills and expertise in the bakery industry in both manufacturing and retail to the company. We are looking forward to a great future for the Cooplands brand,” Belinda Youngs, chief executive of Cooplands, added. 

The Cooplands acquisition followed the purchase of fresh fast-food firm LEON in May, further bolstering EG’s portfolio of third-party foodservice brands. 

Earlier, frozen food manufacturer Nomad Foods, owner of brands such as Findus, Birds Eye and Iglo, announced that it had completed its acquisition of Fortenova Group’s frozen food business.  

Nomad Foods had entered an agreement to acquire Fortenova Group’s frozen food business for €615m (£528m), in March this year.  

Meanwhile, UK fourth-largest retailer Morrisons will become the new property of US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R). 

This is after the firm’s  7 billion pounds ($9.5 billion) bid emerged the winner of an auction for the retailer, narrowly beating the one made by a consortium led by Softbank owned Fortress Investment Group which had made an offer worth just a penny less per share at 286 pence. 

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