Supermarket Morrisons has acquired the whole of the Rathbone Kear plant bakery business, buying out bakery entrepreneur Harry Kear’s 20% stake.

Harry Kear told British Baker: "My job is complete. I have finished what I set out to do which was to get the bakeries in good order and working well. It has been an enjoyable partnership with Morrisons. The excellent staff have helped make the bakeries the success they have become."

He said that during the last 28 months the company, which consists of three bakeries that supply Morrisons, had undergone significant changes, and now produced high quality products from efficient reliable plants.

Morrisons said in a statement: "The company is now showing good profitability and with the major transformation complete it has been agreed that Mr Kear will sell his minority shareholdings to Wm Morrison Supermarkets and will transfer the operational control of the company to a new management team."

Kear will continue to provide consultancy services to the company, which will now be known as Rathbones, through his company Forever Foods for the immediate future with the management team currently based at Lydney.

Kear said: "I have always loved the baking industry but for now I will concentrate on my hotels, golf clubs and property group."