Industry rumours that speciality baking companies Avance and the French Croissant Company are up for sale have been dismissed by their owner John Lister, following the sale of sister company New Primebake last month.

The French Croissant Com-pany is one of the largest UK croissant producers, supplying retailers including Waitrose. Maidstone-based Avance makes a range of speciality breads, supplying retailers and restaurants including Pizza Hut.

British Baker had been informed the two firms were being marketed to potential buyers, but Lister said in a statement: “While many companies have expressed their interest in acquiring these businesses over the years, we would not wish to sell them.”

New Primebake, Avance and the French Croissant Company formed the William Price and Sons group, under the directorship of Lister, also a former director of defunct plant bakery group New Rathbones.

But speciality bakery company New Primebake was sold to Icelandic giant Bakkavor group on 28 April, subject to clearance from the Office of Fair Trading.