Poundbakery is set to give Greggs a run for its money if the budget chain realises plans to roll out across the country.

Owner Sayers The Bakers has been put up for sale while it "assesses its strategic options for growth" and believes there is potential for Poundbakery to extend beyond its north-west heartland. It has appointed specialist advisor Alaris Capital to find a buyer, with an asking price in excess of £10m.

Poundbakery has opened 33 shops in less than 12 months at sites including Bolton, Liverpool, Preston and Manchester, where cash-strapped shoppers can buy two meat and potato pies for £1, hot drinks for 50p, and fresh sandwiches and filled barms for £1.

Sayers chairman Sandy Birnie said there was a significant opportunity for Poundbakery. "There is ample capacity in the market to allow it to flourish our nearest competitor has over 1,300 shops."

He added that it was continuing its rapid roll-out strategy for Poundbakery and had identified a further 50 sites which it aims to open during 2011/12.

Mark Kingston, M&A executive at Alaris, said the business and the brand had picked up significant loyalty in the north west. "The immediate expansion plan will focus on the north west, but there are nationwide opportunities for long-term expansion. It will be taking on the likes of Greggs and has been performing well against the chain in the towns where it has opened."

Kingston said it had already seen interest from potential buyers in the UK and overseas. He added: "The buyer has the potential to increase the rate of roll-out through additional funding."

Sayers The Bakers also plans to continue investing in its 116-strong Sayers chain.

Sayers was acquired in a management buyout from Lyndale Foods three years ago. It also owns a central bakery, which supplies all its current stores. The management team has since restructured the business and pursued a turnaround strategy to return it to growth, including developing Poundbakery, its value brand and retail format aimed at the eat now market.

Sayers was ranked 10th in the BB75 2011 list.

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