Frank Roberts and Sons has acquired the central bakery of Chester craft chain P & A Davies after the 111-year-old business went into administration and its shops were closed down.

The firm, first set up in 1889 and had six shops in and around the city, was placed into administration because its shops were making a loss, in addition to cash flow difficulties following a move to a new bakery in Hawarden, Flintshire, last year, said administrator Baker Tilly Restructuring and Recovery. The shops were closed on 1 October and retail staff were made redundant, while the manufacturing business was immediately sold to Roberts.

Nantwich-based firm Chatwins has confirmed it is in talks with the administrator to purchase an unspecified number of the P & A Davies shops, although nothing had been confirmed as British Baker went to press.

Roberts is currently undertaking a strategic review of all areas of the business to determine an integration plan. Mike Braddock, Roberts MD, said: "P & A Davies is a well-respected business and the two companies share many values and a long heritage in quality baking. We look forward to working with them to establish a more profitable and viable business model going forward. P & A Davies manufactures a wide range of high-quality products and has a team of staff with unique and specialist skills in areas that will enhance the Roberts’ business. We are interested in the opportunities that this presents in widening our current offering."

P & A Davies produced over 200 lines and had 11 vans delivering to over 100 outlets, including its own shops, independent retail outlets, hotels, restaurants and caterers. The company moved to a newly refurbished and extended site last year.

Roberts is based in Northwich, Cheshire, and currently produces around two million loaves and rolls each week. In June, the company bought Derbyshire-based Aldreds the Bakers out of administration, which manufactures rolls, bakery and confectionery products and had a turnover of £3m. It also announced an £8.5m modernisation project at its Northwich site in March this year.

>>Roberts see expansion with Aldreds acquisition