UK forecourt giant EG Group has expanded its foodservice portfolio with the acquisition of bakery business Cooplands.

EG has agreed to buy the UK’s second largest bakery chain, which employs more than 1,600 people, to bolster its foodservice operations.

The transaction will provide a platform to diversify the Cooplands brand into the transient petrol forecourt and retail convenience store channel, alongside the bakery chain’s traditional store formats, through EG Group’s UK network.

EG Group plans to invest in the Cooplands brand and fresh food offer.

Zuber and Mohsin Issa, founders and co-CEOs of EG Group, said: “Cooplands has a proven track record in the fresh bakery sector and vertical integration with EG Group will help to further drive our success in foodservice, where we continue to see strong growth opportunities in the UK and globally.

“The transaction will broaden the reach of Cooplands beyond the brand’s northern heartlands and bring its much-loved food to more existing and new customers through EG Group’s unparalleled network of roadside forecourts and retail convenience stores. We know that Cooplands’ impressive bakery platform and our food service expertise will be a winning combination.”

Belinda Youngs, CEO of Cooplands, added: “Cooplands is proud to be joining EG Group and bringing our long history of skills and expertise in the bakery industry in both manufacturing and retail to the company. We are looking forward to a great future for the Cooplands brand.”

EG Group said the deal will add “highly complementary assets that will drive development opportunities in other parts of the business”.

The acquisition follows EG Group’s acquisition of Leon, the British fast food restaurant chain, in May 2021.

These two brands complement EG Group’s extensive foodservice brand portfolio, including third-party brands such as Starbucks, KFC and Subway.