The Compleat Food Group expands UK footprint with acquisition of pie maker Wrights

UK – The Compleat Food Group has acquired pie maker Wrights Food Group in an effort to further expand its footprint in the United Kingdom. 

The acquisition marks the first deal since private equity firm PAI Partners brought Addo Food Group and Winterbotham Darby together with the ambition to build a chilled foods giant.  

Established as a pie business in 1926 by Jack and Lizzie Wright, the Crewe-headquartered company has grown phenomenally and today employs almost 600 staff. 

It produces a range of products including savoury products, confectionery, and ready meals for the retail and foodservice sectors.  

It also owns bread brand Sheaf Street Bakery and 15 Wrights branded bakery stores across the North West, as well as vending machine operator Urban Bistro.  

The pandemic however incredibly hurt the business with profits at the group tumbling 69% to £1.7m as sales fell by more than £10m to £54.3m in the year ended 4 January 2021. 

The company attributed the decline to shutting down of a large number of its customers, including football clubs, entertainment venues, schools, pubs, restaurants, and hotels. 

As the company recovers from the impact of Covid, Compleat says its incorporation into its business will strengthen the group.

According to Complete, Wrights will help it grow by providing incremental scale while continuing its diversification into the foodservice and B2B channel and expanding the group’s customer base.  

Executive chairman Paul Monk added: “We are delighted to welcome Wrights Food Group into our pastry division. 

This move enables us to better serve our customers and offer a greater range of products, helping the group to further strengthen its position in UK retail and foodservice.” 

 The Compleat Food Group was advised by Alvarez and Marsal, Dickson Minto, and Houlihan Lokey, while Wrights was advised by Oghma Partners and Knights. 

The move is the latest in a flurry of acquisitions in the food sector. Just this week O’Brien Fine Foods announced an agreement to acquire Bearfields of London and Sykes Seafood agreed the acquisition of Ruskim Seafood a week before that.  

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