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McCambridge sells strong private label cake division in Christmas run-up

By Kacey Culliney , 05-Dec-2012

UK bakery firm McCambridge Group has sold its private label cake division to NBGI Private Equity and despite the run-up to Christmas its MD said now is a good time to sell.

NBGI Private Equity entered into exclusive talks with the bakery firm in October, when it put in its offer. The price of the deal remains undisclosed.

Five entities – four in the UK and one in Poland – will be sold to NBGI and McCambridge management will work a few transitional few months with the equity firm.

Richard Cooper, managing director of the private cake label division at McCambridge, told BakeryandSnacks.com the sale so close to Christmas was not a bad point.

Cooper acknowledged that seasonal sales are extremely important to the business but said: “There isn’t any sense of bad timing for us. Business cycles go through change… The process started in May and just happened to be completed now.”

“It is as good to sell the business with a full order book as any other time.”

Strong division

McCambridge launched an auction for its cake division back in May that generated a lot of interest from private equity and trade firms, the MD said.

“The private label cake division is a very significant part of the group in terms of both its size and contribution. It is a very profitable business, which is one of the large selling points,” Cooper said.

The division is in a strong position with customers and licensing partnerships and media engagement has been strong, he added.

“In NBGI’s acquisition, it has taken on one of the UK’s leading cake manufacturing operations,” he said, noting that facilities are new and updated; largely thanks to turnaround investment efforts.

However, he added: “It’s fair to say that the current sector could do with some consolidation… And NBGI have got the investment to follow through with this action.”

The cake division produces a range of cakes and pies for leading retailers’ private label sectors.

McCambridge focus

McCambridge will now focus on its malt loaves and fruit loaf business Soreen and bakery business in Ireland. Cooper said trade in these “very strong branded businesses” will continue as usual.