Bakery group expands with acquisition of Northern Ireland business

BAKO Group

Preston-based bakery business, BAKO Group, has acquired a Northern Irish firm, for an undisclosed sum.

BAKO has taken over James A. S. Finlay Limited, trading as Finlay’s Foods, based in Craigavon, County Armagh.

With a multi-temperature fleet of more than 70 vehicles, BAKO provides independent bakers and caterers with a wide range of ingredients and finished products from quality suppliers, as well as its own BAKO Select branded range, through its depots in Preston, Durham and Wimbledon, employing 312 people across all three sites.

Founded 60 years ago, BAKO is owned by around 694 shareholders, all of whom are bakers.

Finlay’s Foods was founded in 1976 and has grown to be a leading name in the Irish bakery trade, employing approximately 60 at its purpose-built site in Craigavon. As a manufacturer and distributor of ingredients to the bakery and general food industry, its customer base extends throughout Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland, as well as the wider UK, Europe and Asia.

Following the acquisition by BAKO, Finlay’s Foods will continue trading under its existing brand as part of BAKO Group.

BAKO CEO, Mike Tully, said: “This acquisition opens up new markets for us in Northern Ireland and beyond, offering significant growth opportunities. Finlay’s Foods has established a strong presence and loyal customer base, which we intend to build upon and expand.

“By integrating Finlay’s Foods’ product line with our own, we are able to diversify our offerings and enhance our competitive edge. Their expertise in bakery products complements our current portfolio and opens up a wide range of cross-selling opportunities.”

He added: “Bringing Finlay’s Foods into the BAKO family will also provide substantial operational advantages, including optimised supply chains, shared resources, and enhanced production capabilities.

“The additional resources and capabilities from this acquisition provide us with the ability to accelerate innovation and drive growth, aligning with our commitment to offering high-quality products and services and exploring new market segments.”

Finlay’s Foods Sales Director, Patrick Gracey, said: “We are excited that Finlay’s Foods is now part of the BAKO Group.

“Finlay’s have had a long standing relationship with Bako both as a customer and supplier for over 20 years. This is a natural evolution that benefits both companies and will enable us to build on our customer-focused approach, facilitating the delivery of more choice opportunities and benefits to our loyal customer base.”

He added: “Partnering with such a major force and leading light within the UK bakery industry is the start of an exciting journey for both Finlay’s and our customers. Bako’s motto ‘By Bakers, for Bakers’ symbolises a passion and commitment to the industry that synergises with our own long term ethos, and we are delighted to be part of this family of companies.”

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