St Pierre Groupe has been snapped up by Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest bakery company, in a deal worth more than £300m, The Grocer can reveal.
The deal is expected to accelerate the already rapid growth of the brioche maker in the US and fuel further international expansion.
Listed on the Mexican stock exchange, Bimbo has global revenues of $18bn and operates from 206 bakeries in 33 countries across four continents. It owns more than 100 brands across the category, including New York Bakery Co in the UK, making sliced bread, rolls, bagels, English muffins and tortillas, as well as cookies, crackers and other savoury snacks.
A spokeswoman for St Pierre Groupe confirmed the business had been bought in its entirety but would continue to operate independently.
“This is a fantastic achievement for our business, and we are excited for the opportunities we will be able to take advantage of as part of the Grupo Bimbo family,” the spokeswoman told The Grocer.
“Grupo Bimbo is the largest baking company in the world, with the right infrastructure and expertise to propel our brands on to even greater success.”
The Grocer understands CEO David Milner, who was also a shareholder, has stepped down following the deal with a new management team to be put in place.
US investment bank Harris Williams supervised the sale after being hired by St Pierre founders Paul Baker and Jeremy Gilboy and private equity firm BGF, which has backed the group since 2019.
Baker and Gilboy led an MBO in 2004 to take the business – then known as Carrs Foods – into private ownership. The Manchester-based company rebranded to St Pierre Groupe in 2019 after securing £7m from BGF and bringing fmcg veteran David Milner on board, initially as chairman.
Revenues have soared in the past decade from just £16m in 2010 to push past £100m for the first time in 2020.
Newly filed accounts for 2021 revealed a further 8.5% sales rise to £111.5m as it made further distribution gains in its two main markets of the UK and US.
Its products are available in more than 35,000 stores worldwide and St Pierre is the number-one brioche brand in the US, outselling even private label.
The group’s revenues are split almost evenly between the UK and North America, with only about £4m of sales in the rest of Europe, giving the new owner plenty of headroom to expand internationally.
“St Pierre Groupe is an entrepreneurial business that has achieved phenomenal success, both at home and internationally, using insight to develop brands and products that carry global appeal,” the spokeswoman added.
“Through its exceptional branded propositions, the business has made St Pierre the biggest brioche brand in America and the UK.
“We have a stellar team based in the UK and US who work hard to create authentic experiences and drive awareness for our brands worldwide.”
A spokeswoman for Grupo Bimbo said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the St Pierre Groupe into the Grupo Bimbo fold.
“As the biggest brioche brand in the UK and the US, it has already seen tremendous success within the category. Whilst the business has been fully acquired by Grupo Bimbo it will continue to operate independently. We look forward to the success that both businesses will have as we move into the future together.”