RHM finalised details of the sale of its Golden West burger bun subsidiary as separate logistics and bakery businesses. Chicago-based East Balt Bakeries bought the bakery business. Golden West had been under review since October 2004.

Cake and bread company Finsbury Food Group’s CEO Dave Brooks announced it had a multi-million pound war chest for acquisitions, and planned to add additional cake businesses and bread businesses to its portfolio. The company generated £2.3m from selling a parcel of surplus land at its Memory Lane cakes site in Cardiff.

Cheshire-based Roberts Bakery started rolling out new packaging on its morning goods after repackaging its bread in February 2004. The bakery also extended its premium range with a Toastie loaf and a premium bloomer.

Administrators KPMG put plant baker New Rathbones up for sale, after being called in on April 1. The deadline for indicative bids was set as April 13. Administrators later announced they were splitting the company in two – the Wigan, Wakefield and Middlesbrough bakeries were to be sold to one buyer and the Leicester, Walsall and Peterborough sites to a separate bidder. On April 30, Harry Kear and Morrisons announced they had formed a partnership to buy the Wakefield package of sites.

British Bakeries relaunched its flagship Hovis brand as Healthiest Ever Hovis after a £10m investment. The overhaul included new logo, new recipes, lower salt levels, new packaging and new advertising.

New frozen speciality bread and pastry supplier Mantinga UK made its official launch, announcing a target annual turnover of £1.2m for 2006. The company makes a range of part-baked bread and sweet products by traditional methods in a bakery in Lithuania.

Burger King started selling hot baguettes as it developed a ‘fresh-baked’ range. It said it was taking on fast food rivals, such as McDonald’s, as well as new arrivals such as Subway. The bespoke demi-baguettes supplied by Delice de France were rolled out to 700 UK Burger King restaurants.

Napier Brown said it was closing the James Budgett Sugars factory in Ledbury and mill in Hull, following clearance of its acquisition by the Competition Commission.

DSM Bakery Ingredients was sold to Dutch private equity firm Gilde, subject to regulatory approval by the European Commission.

Bakery retailer Three Cooks announced plans to revamp its 200 remaining stores, after closing 40 loss-making sites. The company also introduced a new corporate identity, renaming itself Cooks.

Food giant Geest’s specialist bakery in Barton, south Humberside, was gutted in a fire. The bakery was one of the largest production sites for garlic bread in the UK, baking 7,000 baguettes a day.

Welsh bakery Brace’s opened a £9.2m plant close to its existing bakery in Crumlin, near Newport. The 64,000sq ft bakery produces white bread and features the latest technology, such as automatic ingredients feed and spiral prover.

Peters’ Bakery started moving equipment into its new bakery as a £7.5m rebuilding project neared completion. The Durham factory was being rebuilt after being destroyed by fire in 2004.