Royal Cosun, parent company of Unifine Food & Bake Ingredients, has bought the French food ingredients specialist Caullet and its exporting business Caulinter for an undisclosed sum. Negotiations had been underway since May.

Simon Solway, managing director of Unifine Food and Bake Ingredients (UK), said the Caullet portfolio, including glazes, fondants and toppings, was complementary to Unifine’s existing product range. He added that the deal made the company one of the major players in the European market for bakery, confectionery and ice cream ingredients.

In the UK, Unifine is focused on the pastry and patisserie ingredients market and currently has a turnover of £7m.

Solway told British Baker that he expected to sell 500 tonnes of Caullet products in 2008 and 1,000 tonnes in 2009.

He said Royal Cosun remained acquisitive on behalf of Unifine and was hopeful there would be a deal for a UK-based manufacturer or major distributor in the future.

Unifine currently has production sites in seven European countries, but not in the UK.

Family-owned Caullet was formed in 1950 and is market leader in France. It has a turnover of E12m, mainly in France, and a staff of 32 at its factory in Erquinghem, near Lille.