The agreement for Gibbs Croft, part of Samworth Brothers, to acquire the business, including its Trafford Park factory in Manchester, from McCambridge Group was signed at the end of last week.
FoodManufacture.co.uk understands Samworth Brothers intends to keep Soreen’s senior management team in place and run it as an autonomous business within its group following the takeover.
One source within Soreen said Samworth Brothers’ bosses were briefing staff at Soreen’s Manchester headquarters today (February 10), claiming the news had been “well received”, as Samworth Brothers was highly respected in the food industry.
In a statement, the company said: “Gibbs Croft Limited has acquired Soreen from the McCambridge Group.
“Soreen’s Malt Loaf range has earned the trust and loyalty of UK consumers since 1939. The company’s product range has also developed in recent years to include new flavours plus other ‘food to go’ and breakfast products.”
Major step up
The move marks yet another major step up in terms of growth for Samworth Brothers, which makes own-label and branded chilled food products ranging from ready meals and savoury pastries to sandwiches and desserts.
In July last year it was revealed that the company, which employs 8,000 people across the UK, had made a £10.1M investment in its Brooksby Foods ready meals operation at Melton Mowbray.
And in January 2013 it confirmed plans to build a factory at a 50,000m2 site at Ashton Green, North Leicestershire, that would create up to 700 jobs in Leicestershire.
Products made by Soreen, which employs 125 people, are sold in top supermarkets and independent retailers.
Under the leadership of md Paul Tripp, the company revamped its marketing and packaging and launched convenient healthy snacking lines, aimed at mums, school children, students and the food-to-go market.
Products include Original Pre-buttered Snack Pack and Original Toastie Loaf, which was pre-sliced and designed to be toasted for breakfast.
Tripp, who previously worked with Allied Bakeries and RHM, was recruited as Soreen md in January 2009 and given the brief of reviving a tired and flagging brand.
He has presided over a multi-million pound manufacturing turnaround programme and double digit sales growth that revived the firm’s profits.
Soreen was sold by Warburtons to Inter Link Foods in 2003, then in 2007 the McCambridge Group bought it with substantial backing from Barclays.