AIM-listed butchery chain Crawshaw Group is taking steps toward its ambitious target of running 200 stores after paying £3.9m to snap up Gabbotts Farm.

The move expands its store portfolio 11 at a stroke as it takes over Gabbotts’ retail butchers outlets, and a factory meat mart attached to a small distribution centre, across the North West of England. Gabbotts format of selling fresh meat and food-on-the-go at value prices is very similar to Crawshaw’s own business model.

The deal, which was completed on a debt-free basis from Gabbotts owner Cribbin Family Butchers, expands Crawshaw’s estate out of its Midlands and Yorkshire heartland. Gabbotts generated a turnover of £10.8m and an EBITDA of £800,000 in 2014.

“This acquisition provides a well-established retail portfolio and factory operation in a new geographical region, which is an integral part of our expansion strategy and the start of our exciting journey of achieving 200 stores,” said Crawshaw CEO Noel Collett, a former Lidl executive who took up the role on 1 March.

“Furthermore, the operational synergies and the new supply chain network can rapidly enhance sales and profitability.”

Crawshaw’s shares, which have grown rapidly from a micro-stock over the past few years, are up almost 3% so far today to 56.1p – up more than 26% from 44p last week.