BAKO Group acquires leading bakery business

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The two firms have worked together over the past 20 years. Credit: BAKO Group / Finlay's Foods
The two firms have worked together over the past 20 years. Credit: BAKO Group / Finlay's Foods

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BAKO Group has announced the full acquisition of bakery firm Finlay’s Foods for an undisclosed fee.

Completed on 4 April 2024, Finlay’s will continue to trade under its existing brand identity but as part of BAKO Group.

Founded in 1976, Finlay’s is a leading name within the Irish bakery trade and employs approximately 60 members of staff at its site in Craigavon, Northern Ireland.

The business specialises in the manufacture and distribution of ingredients to the bakery and general food industry and boasts a customer base that extends throughout Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, into the Republic of Ireland, Europe and Asia.

Meanwhile, BAKO supplies a wide range of ingredients and finished products to the independent bakery and catering sector. These items are sourced from selected partners and its own branded range.

With a multi-temperature fleet of over 70 vehicles, BAKO services its network from depots in Preston, Durham and Wimbledon, employing 312 people across all three sites.

Founded 60 years ago, BAKO is owned by over 694 shareholders, all of whom are bakers.

‘Significant growth opportunities’

Mike Tully, chief executive officer at BAKO, said that the acquisition helped open up new markets in “Northern Ireland and beyond”​ which in turn offered “significant growth opportunities”.

“Finlay’s Foods has established a strong presence and loyal customer base, which we intend to build upon and expand,”​ Tully continued.

“By integrating Finlay’s Foods’ product line with our own, we are able to diversify our offerings and enhance our competitive edge. Their expertise in bakery products complements our current portfolio and opens up a wide range of cross-selling opportunities.

“Bringing Finlay’s Foods into the BAKO family will also provide substantial operational advantages, including optimised supply chains, shared resources, and enhanced production capabilities.

“The additional resources and capabilities from this acquisition provide us with the ability to accelerate innovation and drive growth, aligning with our commitment to offering high-quality products and services and exploring new market segments.”

‘Excited to be part of BAKO Group’

Meanwhile, Finlay’s sales director Patrick Gracey explained that the firm has a longstanding relationship with BAKO as a customer and supplier for the past 20 years.

“We are excited that Finlay’s Foods is now part of the BAKO Group,”​ added Gracey.

“This is a natural evolution that benefits both companies and will enable us to build on our customer focused approach, facilitating the delivery of more choice opportunities and benefits to our loyal customer base.

“Partnering with such a major force and leading light within the UK bakery industry is the start of an exciting journey for both Finlay’s and our customers. Bako’s motto  ‘By Bakers, for Bakers’ symbolises a passion and commitment to the industry that synergises with our own long-term ethos, and we are delighted to be part of this family of companies. We look forward to our journey ahead under the umbrella of such a trusted trade partner.”

In other news, seven protesters were arrested at a Cranswick facility in Watton on 3 April 2024, Norfolk Police has confirmed.

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