Cookie Man finds refuge with CSM acquisition

27 January, 2012
Page 4 

CSM has acquired the business and other assets of Surrey bakery manufacturer The Cookie Man, for an undisclosed sum, saving up to 335 jobs.

Esher-based The Cookie Man's profits had been hit by strong competition and changing consumer tastes, with ReSolve Partners appointed as administrators on 16 January.

Global bakery products supplier CSM said the acquisition complemented its UK operations, in terms of both its portfolio and customers. It is believed the business will now be known as CSM Esher, but CSM would not confirm this.

Eva Lindner, director corporate communications, CSM Global, said the firm was working on the next phase of the integration of The Cookie Man's operations into CSM, but could not give any details on its plans or whether there would be any more redundancies on top of the 25 made when the business first entered administration.

The Cookie Man produces premium products, such as loaf cakes, mini-bites, cake slices, muffins and cookies for the retail and out-of-home sector. Lindner told British Baker: "In Europe, traditionally a lot of baked goods have been sold in artisan bakeries, but we are noticing a shift towards out-of-home channels, such as in-store bakeries in supermarkets. The customers The Cookie Man supplies are based in those areas, so CSM saw the business as fitting well with its own presence in these channels."

Cameron Gunn, a senior partner at ReSolve, told British Baker: "We understand some investment will be made at the site as well. [CSM] was reviewing whether or not it wanted to take advantage of The Cookie Man brand in the marketplace."

In its latest accounts, filed on 18 November 2011, The Cookie Man reported a fall in gross profit to £2.4m for the year ended 31 December 2010, from £4.3m for the comparable period in 2009.

No one from The Cookie Man was available for comment.





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