The move follows CSM Bakery Solutions's October 2020 agreement to sell its European and international bakery ingredients business to a subsidiary of investment firm Investindustrial. Following that move, CSM and Rhône Capital retained two businesses: the North America business, operated as Brill North America, and the European products business - now known as Baker & Baker.
The business describes itself as a European leader in the bakery convenience market, operating across 12 sites in seven countries from its Wirral HQ, with more than 2,500 employees.
Alongside maintaining and growing its UK market share, it aims to focus on maximising untapped growth opportunities throughout continental Europe.
The company already possesses an established footprint in Germany, Benelux, France, Italy and Iberia. It now intends to prioritise the expansion of its customer base and explore new opportunities in step with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions across continental Europe and selected rapidly emerging international markets.
Partnership with Mondelēz
The company boasts strong market share in the American sweet bakery segment, which includes doughnuts, cookies and specialty muffins. This business is bolstered by a long-term, successful partnership with Mondelēz, enabling Baker & Baker to make and distribute products under the Cadbury, Oreo, Milka and Daim brand names.
“Today marks the next exciting chapter in the continued evolution of our impressive bakery products offering through the formation of Baker & Baker as a focused standalone business," said Baker & Baker chief executive officer John Lindsay.
'Strong new product pipeline'
“Our philosophy and strategy will be to serve key account customers and the field trade in our core markets through the development of high quality bakery products and complemented by a strong new product pipeline.
“As many European countries and regions prepare to loosen COVID-19 restrictions during the summer, we’re well placed to see growth return with artisanal bakers and with customers in the hospitality sector. Whilst we bid farewell to many colleagues who will remain with CSM Ingredients, we’re confident their business will also continue their growth trajectory within the bakery ingredients market.”
Gianpiero Lenza, managing director of Rhône, added: “We’re pleased to have completed the significant and complex divestment of the European CSM Bakery Solutions business, and will now focus on investing resources to further strengthen Baker & Baker’s position as a market leader in the European bakery convenience segment by growing and diversifying its customer base via product innovation and new product development.”