Business

Moira-based ingredients firm acquired by English bakery co-op

£26.5m turnover Finlay’s Foods in Maghaberry comes under ownership of Bako Group

Finlay's Foods
Finlay's Foods in Maghaberry has been acquired by the Bako Group in England

Finlay’s Foods in Co Armagh, a leading name in the Irish bakery trade and whose products include hundreds and thousands, has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by the Bako Group in England.

Bako provides independent bakers and caterers with ingredients and finished products from quality suppliers, as well as its own-brand Select range, through depots in Preston, Durham and Wimbledon, employing 312 people.

Founded 60 years ago, Bako is recognised as a key organisation within the UK bakery industry supply chain and is owned by 694 shareholders, all of whom are bakers.

Finlay’s Foods (www.finlayfoods.com), founded in 1976, employs 60 staff at its purpose built site in Maghaberry, near Moira.

As a manufacturer and distributor of ingredients to the bakery and general food industry, its customer base extends throughout Northern Ireland and into the Republic, as well as Britain, Europe and Asia.

In is most recent trading year up to August 2023, Finlay’s parent company James A S Finlay, increased its sales to £26.5 million and doubled its retained profits on the previous year from £443,000 to £920,000.

Following its acquisition, Finlay’s Foods - whose products include coloured sprinkles, or hundreds and thousands - will continue trading under its existing brand as part of Bako Group.

Bako chief executive 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.”

Finlay's Foods
big clear display of sprinkles candy party cake treats cover food decorations background Among the products made by Finlay's Foods are coloured sprinkles, or hundreds and thousands (DrewTraveler/Getty Images)

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 added: “We are excited we are now part of the Bako Group, which whom we have had a long-standing relationship 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.

“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. We look forward to our journey ahead under the umbrella of such a trusted trade partner.”