Warburtons sells Soreen in strategic business review

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Warburtons, the UK’s leading independent baker, has sold its Soreen malt loaf business, based in Trafford Park, Manchester to Inter Link Foods PLC.

The Soreen business was established as part of Imperial Bakeries (Manchester) Ltd and was acquired by Warburtons in 1959. It has an annual turnover of £11 million and employs 130 people.

Inter Link Foods plc, based in Blackburn, is a leading UK manufacturer of private label cakes, pastries and other baked products, with six manufacturing locations, primarily in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Inter Link also distributes cakes and confectionery to independent retailers and the food service sector.

Warburtons chairman Jonathan Warburton said, “the sale is the result of a strategic business review and confirms our intention to concentrate all of our resources on our core activity, which has increasingly been the expansion of our bread baking business.”

Warburtons were advised by the Nottingham office of Clearwater Corporate Finance led by Phil Burns. Clearwater identified Inter Link as a potential purchaser for Soreen and led the negotiations with them.

Phil Burns commented; “This deal represents an excellent outcome for all parties. We are delighted to have found a purchaser such as Inter Link for whom this acquisition will form a core part of its ongoing strategy”.

Soreen is stocked in all but one of the major multiples as well as smaller independents and supplies own label products to a number of customers.

Legal advisers to the vendor were DLA, Manchester with a team led by Andrew Holt and Polly Owen. Andrew Holt said; “It is a pleasure to have acted for a successful company such as Warburtons in relation to this strategically transaction.”

Production will continue as normal at the Trafford Park bakery and there will be no redundancies resulting from the sale of the business.

Warburtons is in an important phase of a five-year national expansion programme, which aims to make it Britain’s Favourite Baker. The company open is due to open a new £30 million baker in Enfield, North London in June 2003.