Details of bakery takeover deal

Drop Folder News/ ATEX News. Pic Kevin Allen.'Woodheads shop. Wrefield Drive.'103233a
Drop Folder News/ ATEX News. Pic Kevin Allen.'Woodheads shop. Wrefield Drive.'103233a

THREE weeks of turmoil have come to an end for staff at Woodhead the Bakers following its takeover.

Administrators announced at the weekend that the 74-year-old, family-run firm has been taken over by two companies.

Fellow Scarborough bakers Cooplands bought the business and 18 of the shops, while Midlands-based Bakery Products has taken on the Beaconsfield Street bakery and the remaining 11 stores.

All 280 Woodhead jobs have been transferred as part of the deal.

Of the eight Scarborough Woodhead shops, Bakery Products has taken on the Westborough, Dean Road and Ramshill outlets, with Cooplands taking charge of those in Falsgrave Road, Newlands Park Drive, the Brunswick Centre, North Marine Road, and Wreyfield Drive.

Cooplands have not commented on their involvement with the deal, and speculation surrounds what the company will do with the Woodhead stores, some of which neighbour Cooplands’ existing shops particularly in Newlands Park Drive and Falsgrave Road.

Cooplands will also double up on shops in Whitby, Driffield and Beverley as a result of the deal.

Bakery Products is a new establishment, set up specifically to develop the acquisition of Woodhead. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Haldane Retail Group, which is a supermarket business set up in 2009 by Scarborough-born entrepreneur Arthur Harris.

Woodhead managing director Phil Davis has been appointed to the same role at Bakery Products. He said: “I’m delighted to say that we have retained 11 Woodheads retail outlets and underline that it’s business as usual at each and every one of these stores which is great news for staff and shoppers alike.

“Staff in our 11 retail outlets are very happy to be retained within Woodheads and remain highly motivated to deliver the excellent products and unrivalled service our customers are used to.

“Over the next few days, we will be fully briefing all of our bakery staff about our plans for the business.”

It is not known what will happen with Woodhead’s contracts to supply supermarket chains Proudfoot and Morrisons. Mr Davis said: “We will be meeting with the respective buyers at both Morrisons and Proudfoot over the next few days to discuss the acquisition and our plans to develop the bakery and its brands.

“We will hopefully be in a position to offer more insight in this area of the business after those meetings.”

The Haldane Retail Group, which has its head office in Grantham, has grown rapidly since it was set up after initially taking on 133 stores from The Co-operative as part of its Somerfield takeover.

Earlier this year the firm also acquired 20 Netto supermarkets as part of the Asda takeover deal. Haldanes operates a number of supermarkets trading under three separate fascias, Haldanes Stores, Haldanes Express and UGO, and now runs Bakery Products.