BGF invests in Coopland & Son

The UK’s third largest bakery chain, Coopland & Son, has received an investment of £8.5m from the Business Growth Fund (BGF), to accelerate the rollout of its shops across the North of England. BCMS acted as corporate finance advisor to Cooplands for the transaction, which completed in 2017.

From its three bakeries in Scarborough, Durham and Hull, Cooplands delivers traditionally made, high-quality produce including breads, sandwiches, pies, pasties and cakes to more than 140 Cooplands shops, 11 cafes and 28 sandwich vans. Cooplands retail outlets are typically located in busy shopping parades and high streets across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the North East.

“As a family business, we didn’t take the decision to bring on board an external investor lightly” – Paul Coopland

Founded in 1885, the fourth-generation business has been led by managing director Paul Coopland since 1985. Cooplands has grown from a chain of five shops to its current size under the leadership of Paul and his team. At the time of the transaction, the business employed more than 1,500 people and generated sales close to £50m.

Cooplands will use BGF’s investment to open 30 new shops, improve and develop its production facilities and explore potential acquisition opportunities to build further scale. The business will also expand its growing sandwich van service, which delivers fresh food to industrial and business parks, doubling its fleet.

Investment for growth

BGF is the most active investor in small and mid-sized businesses in the UK. An established and independent company, it has £2.5bn to support a range of growing companies – early stage, growth stage and quoted – across every region and sector of the economy.

The investment into Cooplands, which makes BGF a minority partner in the business, was led by BGF’s Barry Jackson and Chris Boyes, based in Leeds.

Paul Coopland said: “Partnering with BGF marks an important step for the business. Cooplands is in great health and we’ve opened a number of new sites this year alone. The partnership with BGF allows us to accelerate that growth and benefit from being part of a bigger network.

“As a family business, we didn’t take the decision to bring on board an external investor lightly. We had a number of options but felt that BGF’s culture and long-term minority investment would provide us with flexibility and control as we continue to grow.”