Cornish craft bakery WC Rowe has been acquired by investment firm Iberia Industry Capital (IIC).

Rowe’s, which operates 17 branded stores and five branded concessions in Asda and Tesco stores across the south west, supplies branded and own-label goods to major multiple and independent retailers regionally and nationally.

The bakery’s senior management team will remain in place and will work “hand-in-hand” with Iberia Industry Capital, which is described as specialising in acquiring companies with “significant, but untapped potential and developing them into industry leaders”.

“Rowe’s high quality standards, award-winning, premium products and solid management impressed IIC to pursue the transaction,” said the firm in a statement.

“IIC also believes the company’s strong network of own outlets and national coverage through leading supermarkets and independent retailers is a springboard for future growth.”

Rowe’s will now embark on a “new period of development and expansion”, it added.

Bakery businesses have become a key target of investment firms, with companies including Parsons Bakery and Warrens securing investment in recent years.

“These sort of businesses are very back-able as they are capable of roll-out. If it trades well in one location, it is likely to transfer to a variety of locations, so you can open more units across a wider area,” explained Will Baxter, director at accountancy and advisory firm Grant Thornton, in British Baker’s 2017 Bakery Market Report, published last week.

The Bakery Market Report is available free of charge to subscribers to British Baker magazine.