UK-based private equity group Lion Capital has bought a 32% stake in Swiss bakery group Hiestand.

The private equity firm, which owns UK cereal business Weetabix, said today (21 February) that it had bought 170,000 shares in the business for an undisclosed sum.

Lyndon Lea, a partner at Lion Capital, said the firm backed the management's strategy and was a "long-term strategic investor" in the business.

"Hiestand is a leading player in the most attractive sub-sector of the bakery market," Lea said.

Speculation has surrounded Hiestand in recent days, with shares in the company tumbling yesterday on rumours that Focus Capital, another investor in the business, was looking to sell its stake in the company.

Officials at Focus Capital and Hiestand could not be reached for comment as just-food went to press.