Dublin-based McCam-bridge Group has acquired Oxford-based cakes supplier Queen of Hearts as it expands its UK operations.

The £5 million turnover wholesaler and retail supplier went into administration in February and was bought out by McCambridge on March 17. It will be run alongside the rapidly expanding McCam-bridge Group’s Husseys Bakery subsidiary, based in Berkshire.

Husseys managing director Martin Davey told British Baker Queen of Hearts will be run as a separate entity, under his directorship. No changes to the product range are anticipated, and it is “business as usual” for staff, he said.

Queen of Hearts employs 80 people at its 22,000sq ft leasehold premises in Oxford, making boxed cakes and patisserie for wholesale and retail customers including Waitrose. It won a contract to supply Duchy Originals branded Christmas cakes and Dundee cakes in Christmas 2005.

Commenting on the acquisition, group managing director Michael McCambridge told British Baker: “We are working very hard at our business.” The company is open to opportunities in “many food areas” as it grows.

McCambridge has transformed itself from a regional bakery in Leinster, Ireland to a E20m-plus turn-over food business over the last few years, with a series of acquisitions. Earlier this year, the group bought rival company, Gills Bakery in Ireland out of examinership for about E3.5m. It is now understood to be bidding for Dublin’s Cooke’s bakery. It acquired Husseys in the UK in 2001 and also owns West of England Bakeries, which has a site in Plymouth

and a depot in Cornwall.