Swedish group, Lantmännen has sold its fresh bread business, Lantmännen Färskbröd to Finland-based baked goods and confectionery company The Fazer Group.

According to the The Fazer Group’s chief executive officer, Karste Slotte, the aqcuisition of Färskbröd would make Fazer the number two player in the Swedish bread market.

Per Strömberg, Lantmännen president and CEO, explained that “the Swedish fresh bread business is not in our key investment area”, noting that Färskbröd had been sold as part of Lantmännen’s ongoing strategy to create a focused and profitable business.

Mainly selling its products under the Bageri Skogaholm name, Färskbröd underwent a successful “turnaround” project in 2006. “Lantmännen now considers the fresh bread business to be so solid, that we are choosing to sell it to an owner whose core business is fresh bread, with different means to develop the business in Sweden than we have,” said Lantmännen’s chairman Thomas Bodén.

“It would not be fair to the employees, customers or suppliers to retain the business in Sweden without investing the necessary resources into it.”

Lantmännen Unibake remains one of the group’s key investment areas. It is Unibake’s ambition to lead a European consolidation of the frozen bread sector through acquisitions and alliances.

The acquisition is expected to take place later this month, following approval from the Swedish Competition Authority.