Yorkshire-based bakery chain Cooplands is acquired by Asda owners Zuber and Mohsin Issa

Yorkshire-based Cooplands, the UK's second biggest bakery chain, has been acquired by the entrepreneurs Zuber and Mohsin Issa, who bought Asda last year.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 5:35 pm

The brothers acquired the Leeds-based supermarket chain Asda from US retailer Walmart via their EG Group a year ago for £6.8 billion.

EG Group has today acquired CS Food Group Holdings Limited, which trades as Cooplands.

Cooplands owns and operates three bakeries that process ingredients and manufacture fresh food distributed through its supply and logistics network to 180 stores and cafes, predominantly across the North East and Yorkshire.

Founded by Frederick and Alice Coopland in 1885, Scarborough-based Cooplands employs more than 1,600 staff and is the UK’s second-largest bakery chain.

Founded by Frederick and Alice Coopland in 1885, Scarborough-based Cooplands employs more than 1,600 staff and is the UK’s second-largest bakery chain.

The statement said: "The acquisition will accelerate EG Group’s growing and successful diversification into food service and adds highly complementary assets that will drive development opportunities in other parts of the business.

"Today’s transaction will provide a platform to diversify the Cooplands brand into the transient petrol forecourt and retail convenience store channel, alongside the bakery chain’s traditional store formats, through EG Group’s extensive UK network.

"The acquisition of Cooplands as a proprietary brand follows EG Group’s acquisition of LEON, the British ‘naturally fast food’ restaurant chain, in May 2021.

"These two brands complement EG Group’s extensive food service brand portfolio, including popular third-party brands such as Starbucks, KFC and Subway.

"EG Group plans to invest in the Cooplands brand and fresh food offer, to help ensure it continues to satisfy existing customers and attract new ones.

Zuber and Mohsin Issa, Founders and Co-CEOs of EG Group, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Cooplands’ many talented colleagues to the EG Group family. Cooplands has a proven track record in the fresh bakery sector and vertical integration with EG Group will help to further drive our success in food service, where we continue to see strong growth opportunities in the UK and globally.

“Following the acquisition of LEON in May, Cooplands is another fantastic fresh food brand to add to EG Group’s existing portfolio of third-party foodservice brands.

“The transaction will broaden the reach of Cooplands beyond the brand’s northern heartlands and bring its much-loved food to more existing and new customers through EG Group’s unparalleled network of roadside forecourts and retail convenience stores. We know that Cooplands’ impressive bakery platform and our food service expertise will be a winning combination.”

Belinda Youngs, CEO of Cooplands, said: “Cooplands is proud to be joining EG Group and bringing our long history of skills and expertise in the bakery industry in both manufacturing and retail to the company. We are looking forward to a great future for the Cooplands brand.”

Founded in 2001 by the Issa family, EG Group is a convenience retailer which has established partnerships with global brands.

EG Group currently employs more than 45,000 staff working in more than 6,100 sites across the US, UK and Ireland, Continental Europe and Australia.

BGF backed Cooplands with an £8.5m investment in December 2017, supplemented with £7.7m follow-on funding in November 2020.

The deal marks BGF’s exit from the business.

Barry Jackson, head of BGF Yorkshire & North East, added: “It’s been thoroughly enjoyable to be part of the Cooplands’ journey.”