Privately owned bakeries are increasing in value faster than their corporate competitors, making them potential takeover targets.

This is the finding of a new report, Portfolio Analysis of the Bakery Industry, from Plimsoll Publishing, that highlights exclusivity, niche products and unique services as other potentially attractive features of independent bakeries.

Another more practical factor is the increasing age of the owners and principals at some of the companies, which is causing them to consider their choices.

"While many family firms have succession plans in place," explained market analyst David Pattison, "an offer for the company at the crucial moment is often listened to sympathetically, as the new generation review their options."

The report gives detailed value and performance ratings for 980 companies in the bakery sector, of which 752 are privately-owned. It is priced £350, with a 10% discount available to British Baker readers. Call 01642 626422 for more details.