Free-from Irish bakery supplier Promise Gluten Free has sold a majority stake to private equity player Mayfair Equity Partners.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will enable Promise to accelerate its international expansion to make further inroads into the US, Australia and mainland Europe

Promise has overseen rapid growth domestically in Ireland and internationally into markets including the UK, US and Australia under its retail brands: ‘Promise Gluten Free’ and ‘PureBred Gluten Free’.

Its products are available across in retailers including Costco, M&S, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ShopRite, Sobeys, SuperValu, Dunnes Stores, Spar and Woolworths.

The Donegal-based group was founded in 2011 and comprises of Aran Ard Teoranta (trading as Gallagher’s Bakery) and Cuisine Royale Manufacturing.

Plans are also in place to further develop Promise’s physical presence in the US and European markets to meet demand.

The existing senior management team, including founders Declan Gallagher, Tom Doyle and Ciarán Lally,will remain in place.

Additionally, Robert Leechman will be join as chairman, having previously worked in senior posts at Mars, Coca-Cola, Pulse Home Products and Life Health Food.

Former United Biscuits chief executive Jeff van der Eems will also join as a non-executive director.

Gallagher said: “In Mayfair we have found a partner with a proven track record in our sector that will not only help us achieve success, but also matches our entrepreneurial spirit. Mayfair’s backing will provide us with the ability to increase capacity in new and existing markets, including supporting the growth of our facility.”

Mayfair’s managing partner, Daniel Sasaki, added: “Promise is attracting international attention as it continues to build sales momentum as an innovator in the sector. We see the same potential for exceptional growth in Promise that we identified in our previous highly successful investment with Fever Tree.”

The Gluten-Free bread market in the US and UK is currently worth US$850m combined annually, and has been growing at 20% each year over the past five years.