Three German/Austrian bakery companies are expected to be combined to form the third-largest company in the markets, run by the well-known German baker and entrepreneur Heiner Kamps (pictured).

The three German/Austrian bakers, Mueller, Anker and Lowenbrot, are expected to be bought by a specially-formed company, IFR Capital.

IFR is scheduled to be floated on the Alternative Investment stock market in the UK to raise E125m, with E100m to be used to buy the three bakers. The acquisitions are dependent on the flotation being successful.

The move would see Kamps, known as Germany’s Richard Branson, return to the bakery sector four years after his Kamps chain was sold to Barilla for E1.8bn, including liabilities of E800m.

In 1998 when the Kamps business was floated it claimed to be Europe’s largest baker with 2,000 shops and revenue of E1.7bn.

IFR is owned jointly by ACP Capital, a Jersey-based investment and fund manager listed on AIM, and by Kamps.

IFR also plans to buy, after the float, Kamps Food Retail Investments (KFRI), in which ACP and Kamps have "a significant shareholding". KFRI owns Nordsee, which is claimed to be the largest fish retail chain in Europe with a turnover of more than E345m.

Commenting on the proposed acquisitions Heiner Kamps said: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to be back in the bakery business. We plan to make further acquisitions in the bakery and other food retailing sectors in continental Europe in order to consolidate food retailing."