Bakery group Finsbury Food Group has acquired Weight Watchers low-fat cake manufacturer Anthony Alan Foods as a rapid expansion programme continues.

Anthony Alan is a sales and marketing agency, which has the rights to distribute ambient cakes using the Weight Watchers brand in the UK and Ireland. Manufacture is outsourced to third parties.

Chief executive Dave Brooks told British Baker that the deal, which completed late on Monday night, would give Finsbury a market leading position in low-fat cakes alongside top positions in the premium and celebration cakes sectors, and also allow it to develop its bought-in business.

Finsbury Food Group already produces nearly 60% of the Weight Watchers cakes’ product range at various bakeries, including its Memory Lane Cakes and California Cake Company divisions.

The remaining 40% of the Weight Watchers range is sourced primarily through Inter Link Foods and Brooks said Finsbury was looking forward to working with its rival cakes supplier.

Brooks explained that Anthony Alan’s founder, the entrepreneur Tony Maloney, had sold up as he was "ready to pass the baton on" to a bigger player in the ever-consolidating cakes market.

Finsbury plans to revamp the Weight Watchers cakes range in 2008 and develop the brand with the multiple grocers.

Finsbury, the number two player in the UK cake industry, acquired cake company Lightbody of Hamilton in February and indicated last month that it was ready to make another purchase (British Baker, 21 September, pg 14).

It is likely to pay a total of £3.75m for Anthony Alan.