Finsbury Foods subsidiary Nicholas & Harris has acquired the licences for speciality bread brands Vogel’s, Cranks and Dove’s Farm from East End bakery Goswell in a £2.2m deal.
Production has already been transferred from Goswell’s Can-ning Town bakery to Nicholas & Harris in Salisbury, Wiltshire, with 71 staff at the London bakery made redundant.
The deal for Goswell’s, which had a turnover of £5.4m and supplied Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, swells Nicholas & Harris’ annual turnover to £18m. It follows a £1m investment in new equipment and infrastructure at the Salisbury bakery over the past 18 months, which has significantly increased capacity.
Nicholas & Harris makes bread under licence for The Village Bakery, as well as own-label Waitrose products.
"Speciality bread is our business, so these brands are an ideal fit," said Nicholas & Harris MD Simon Staddon. "We believe there are big opportunities to take them forward and we’ve got some exciting ideas."
Goswell’s directors are currently closing the Canning Town bakery, with equipment to be auctioned on 22 July and the site sold for redevelopment.
The company has also sold its bagel business to a management-buy-out team led by former general manager Alan Weston. The newly created A&A Bakeries International is to move production to the London Bread & Cake Company.
Goswell’s director Colin Lyons said the decision to sell was "made from a position of strength". "The business was viable and profitable, but we decided, for several reasons, that it was the right time to sell," he said.
Much of the area around the bakery has already been redeveloped for residential use, he said, while sales had suffered during the downturn, falling by around 8%.