Bakkavor acquires desserts business from Samworth Bros

Bakkavor Group plc, the leading provider of fresh prepared food, has entered into an agreement to purchase the trade and assets of Blueberry Foods, a desserts business owned by Samworth Brothers.

Blueberry operates from a custom-built facility in Leicestershire with approximately 420 employees and produces a range of desserts for the UK’s leading grocery retailers.

A capital investment of more than £10m over the last 18 months has expanded the factory footprint and upgraded equipment to deliver new capabilities and competencies. In the financial year ended 31 December 2018, revenues were £42m and the business made a loss of £1m at an EBITDA level.

The acquisition of Blueberry is a strong strategic fit and will:
- build on Bakkavor's leading position in chilled desserts, providing both additional capacity and new capabilities, such as hot desserts
- bring operational synergies over the medium term as incorporate Blueberry into Bakkavor's existing business
- further strengthen our desserts offer to Bakkavor's two largest customers, both of whom are also important customers of Blueberry

The acquisition is conditional on completion of a TUPE process with affected employees and of other customary pre-closing conditions. It is expected to complete by mid-June 2019 and will be funded from existing facilities, with marginal leverage impact.

CEO Agust Gudmundsson said, “The acquisition of Blueberry is a great strategic fit for Bakkavor. Together with our recent addition of Haydens Bakery and a major investment at our site at Newark, our long-term commitment to growing our desserts category in the UK is clear.

'The team at Blueberry share our passion for providing outstanding service, quality and value to customers and we look forward to welcoming them to the Group.”