Alan Hardie and Ian Appleton, owners of Paterson Arran Limited, which produces shortbread, oatcakes, jams, chutney and relishes, are to sell the business and retire.

After 21 years in charge, Hardie and Appleton will step down. The sale is being managed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and shareholders are currently speaking to potential buyers. 

Paterson Arran employs about 160 people at its Livingston bakery and headquarters, and around 28 staff at Lamlash, on the Isle of Arran.

It has invested over £2.7 million in plant and machinery over the last four years. A total of 11m packs of Paterson’s Shortbread were bought in 2015, which is 940,000 more than in 2014, according to market analysis expert Kantar Worldpanel.

Hardie, owner and managing director, said: “I am very proud of what we have accomplished since we bought the company in 1995, and the way we have preserved the traditions of Paterson Arran, while modernising the company and taking the company into new markets both for products and geographically.

“Our primary objective is to find a buyer who offers the best opportunity to secure the future of the company. In the meantime, it is business as usual.”