Henley Bridge (HB) Ingredients, which distributes ingredients to bakers, chocolatiers and the wider foodservice industry, has been acquired by HMS.

HMS already has a presence in the baking ingredients market as the independently owned parent company of distributors Kent Foods, BFP and Garrett Ingredients.

HB Ingredients will continue to operate as a stand-alone business from its head office and warehouse in Lewes, East Sussex. The existing management team will remain in charge, although founder Tony Mycock is to retire from the business he founded 21 years ago.

“When planning [my retirement], the key consideration for us was to make sure the business passed to an owner who would further develop the business while preserving the facility and employees here in Lewes,” said Mycock.

“We are handing the baton over to a carefully chosen partner which shares HB Ingredients values – flexible, human and customer-focused. I’ve no doubt that HMS is a great home for HB Ingredients.”

Iain Dalglish, chairman of HMS, said the company would be taking a hands-off approach, with the existing HB Ingredients management team given “the freedom to operate the business as it always has been”.

“As a customer, I’ve always been impressed with the quality, service and value that HB Ingredients offers. They have an outstanding reputation and I’m delighted to welcome them into the HMS family,” Dalglish added. 

“I know they have exciting plans for the future – various initiatives that will build an even better customer experience and stronger platform for partner brands – and HMS is looking forward to supporting these with our considerable resources.”