Lancashire-based fruit fillings and sauces supplier Fruitapeel has been acquired by Puratos.

Operating from 50,000 sq ft manufacturing plant and employing 70 staff, Fruitapeel produces chilled, ambient, bake-stable and freeze-thaw-stable fruit and confectionery fillings and sauces in a variety of pack formats.

Fruitapeel’s customers range from artisan producers and farm shops to major ice cream, dessert and cake manufacturers.

Puratos said the acquisition would strengthen its position in the UK bakery industry and enhance its offering to existing customers.

Puratos added that the deal would give it access to a strong manufacturing unit, offering flexibility and “impressive speed-to-market credentials”. It would also enable Puratos to develop its expertise in fruit sourcing and production of preservative-free fillings.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce Puratos’ acquisition of Fruitapeel, which offers a genuine win-win scenario for both businesses and their respective customer bases,” said Puratos UK general manager Julia Darvill. “Moving forward we will be able to offer a more comprehensive product and service range.”

“We welcome the employees and customers of Fruitapeel to Puratos UK and look forward to working with them to further develop our collective capability.”

The acquisition comes a year after a management buyout at Fruitapeel that saw co-founders Terry and Debbie Haigh take over the business. In its latest filing at Companies House, for the year ended 28 February 2017, the business reported £990,000 profit after tax on turnover of £10.4m. Today (18 December), it told British Baker it expects turnover for the current year to be in the region of £14m.

“I could not be happier with what Puratos has to offer for the future of Fruitapeel,” said Terry Haigh. “Puratos not only brings a wealth of experience, passion and commitment, it also provides the manufacturing experience to compliment a business that has been built on quality and customer service. This is truly an exciting time for the business and our customers.”