Irish bakery group McCambridge has outlined plans for Inter Link, after it bought the cake company from administration on July 20.
The new enlarged group, which now includes Inter Link’s 11 bakeries, will focus on organic growth, following several acquisitions by Inter Link in recent years, sources told British Baker.
Speciality breads and cakes ranges, as well as increasing market share in the UK, will be priorities. The Soreen brand is seen as a particular opportunity for expansion in the UK and Ireland.
Inter Link’s Polish bakery will be used as a platform for expansion into European countries, including new EU accession states such as Romania, as well as Germany and Russia.
McCambridge plans to brand the expanded business as ’McCambridge’, while developing the individual brands of the various former Inter Link bakeries in the UK, including Yorkshire Cottage Bakeries and Jesse Oldfield.
It will keep a regional head office in Blackburn. Some functions will be combined with its offices in Oxford and County Dublin.
Meanwhile, several Inter Link creditors have told British Baker that McCambridge is in the process of contacting them and negotiating supply arrangements. One supplier said that following "open" discussions, it had "reached a satisfactory position, supplying the same range as before".
McCambridge management is believed to be working its way around the Inter Link estate and working through a contact list of 1,640 Inter Link creditors. Around 30% of creditors control 80% of the debt, according to sources.
Over the past decade McCambridge has grown from a regional Irish business with a bakery in Leinster. Since 1999, three acquisitions have been made in Ireland and six in the UK, in the speciality breads and cakes sector.
The six UK acquisitions were WR & SV Hussey, West of England Bakeries, Plymouth Premier Bakeries and Plymouth Premier Pasties, Aldreds the Bakers, Queen of Hearts and Tredinnick Fine Foods.
McCambridge chief executive Michael McCambridge said its new Inter Link businesses "have excellent people, famous brands and strong products. It is my intention to ensure that over 90% of the jobs will be protected."
McCambridge had already built up a shareholding in Inter Link of 8.9%, valued at £1m, before Inter Link suspended share trading in June, due to its debt mountain of around £63m.
An analyst told British Baker it was "inevitable" that Inter Link would be placed into administration when shares were suspended, after four profit warnings.