Lightbody Holdings has also agreed to buy the remaining 15% after two years. The acquisition is expected to be completed later today (21 February). Lightbody-Stretz is the holding company of the group's European distribution business Lightbody Europe, which operates mainly in the French and Benelux markets and has distributed products produced by Finsbury for nearly 20 years.
The deal is being undertaken on a cash free/debt free basis.
In the year to 26 June 2021, Lightbody Europe reported net profit after tax of €2.3m and the business has continued to deliver strong growth through the first half of the 2022 financial year. It has gross assets of €13.5m as at 26 June 2021. It said securing a majority stake in the distribution outfit would enhance its capacity to support the business and deliver growth outside its primary UK markets.
Lightbody-Stretz would continue to be managed by the current management team, according to Lightbody Holdings. Lightbody Europe has struck a further agreement to continue to operate from premises leased from Coysevox 2 for more than nine years.
Lightbody Europe will continue to be run by its current management team.
"We are pleased to announce this further investment in our French subsidiary, which increases our stake to 85%, supporting the successful local management team's growth ambitions and our continued desire to invest behind our European growth," John Duffy, chief executive of Finsbury.
Aligned with mergers and acquisitions strategy
"This acquisition is aligned to the company's mergers and acquisitions strategy as the board continues to grow the group both in the UK and in Europe, including the potential for meaningful acquisition."
Finsbury Food Group is a UK speciality bakery manufacturer of cake, bread and morning goods for retail and foodservice channels.