The Finsbury Food Group has strengthened its operations in the ‘free-

from’ gluten market with the £8.9 million acquisition of Yorkshire

Farm Bakery (YFB) and A&P Foods.

YFB is a major manufacturer of gluten-free breads as well as rolls

and cakes and is located on a freehold site in Hull. A&P shares the

same site and produces gluten-free pre-mixes for YFB, as well as

United Central Bakeries, which is already part of the Finsbury Group.

Both businesses have been acquired by Finsbury from the Arnett

family, three of whom will remain involved. Finsbury has created a

new trading company, Livwell, and £4.8m will be paid on completion,

with the remainder payable in stages, ending with a final payment of

£2.5m in July 2010.

Finsbury group, chief executive Dave Brooks told British Baker:

“Yorkshire Farm is the biggest UK supplier of free-from with £10m of

sales in the UK gluten-free market so this is an excellent

opportunity. I have known the Arnett family for three years through

UCB and three members of the family will remain in the business.”

In a statement issued by the company Brooks said: “The UK retail

market offers huge scope for growth, as more and more consumers

choose a wheat-free diet, and the UK medical prescription market,

which is twice the size of the retail market, brings new opportunity.

“There is also significant scope to develop a stronger export

business, as awareness grows in Europe. These businesses perfectly

fit our acquisition criteria and their acquisition is further

evidence of our group’s confidence in our market positioning and

trading performance.”

Combined YFB and A&P sales in the year ended March 2007 were £7.3m,

with forecast sales for this year expected to be no less than £8.5m.

The acquired net assets are valued at £3.66m.