Causeway Capital, which acquired Patisserie Valerie last year, has merged the chain with its Bakers & Baristas business.

The new combined operation, which will have more than 125 sites across the UK and Ireland, will be led by current Bakers & Baristas CEO James Fleming.

Patisserie Valerie (PV) production managing director José Peralta and retail managing director Paolo Peretti, who have led a turnaround of PV following its acquisition by Causeway, will support the management during a transitional period before leaving the business.

The new group will continue operating under their individual brands and will retain their existing, distinctive in-store offerings, stated Causeway.

Causeway said the merger would enable both businesses to benefit from shared baking, coffee and customer service resources and new product development, and allow additional investment for growth, including new store openings.

“We are really pleased to announce the merger of our coffee and patisserie investments,” added Causeway Capital partner Matt Scaife.

“We want to thank Paolo and José for their hard work and leadership in delivering the Patisserie Valerie turnaround programme over the last 12 months. We look forward to continuing supporting the development of these two distinctive brands and the continued growth of the group.”

Based in Limerick, Ireland, Bakers + Baristas has locations in shopping and outlet centres throughout the UK and the Republic. Sales have grown from £11m in 2015, when Causeway invested in the business, to £22m in 2019.

Patisserie Valerie was acquired by Causeway last year, when its parent company Patisserie Holdings entered administration. Causeway took on 96 sites, but has since reduced this to 75 following a review of stores’ trading performance.

“This merger represents a fantastic opportunity to establish a high-quality, branded coffee and patisserie business with a presence throughout the UK and Ireland,” said Fleming.

“I am really excited to be leading the team and believe there are significant opportunities to leverage shared resources across the business to deliver best-in-class customer experience for both brands instore and online.”

Before joining Bakers + Baristas, Fleming had been CEO of Euphorium Bakery and UK CEO of French boulangerie chain Paul.