Finnish bakery and confectionery giant Vaasan & Vaasan acquired a 100% stake in Lithuania’s largest bread and pastry maker UAB Vilniaus Duona Plius on Tuesday.

The deal, of an undisclosed value, will further consolidate Vaasan & Vaasan’s market position in the Baltic states, bringing its output of bakery products in all three Baltic countries to over 100 million kilograms per year.

The company already controls the largest bakeries in Estonia and Latvia, with 30% market share each, Leibur and Hanzas Maiznicas respectively. This deal also provides the Finnish group with a 55.18% share of Panevezio Duona, a bakery in central Lithuania, and 17.42% stake in Klaipedos Duona, a bakery in the western part of the country.

Vilniaus Duona Plius posts annual turnover of around €29m and employs some 1,500 people in its five production facilities. Holding a 25% market share in Lithuania, it was previously controlled by VP Mazmena, a company of the Vilnius Prekyba Group.

Matti Lappalainen, CEO and MD of Vaasan & Vaasan, explained in a news conference yesterday [Wednesday]: “Vilniaus Duona is the largest and best-known bakery in Lithuania, and this acquisition is a natural step in our strategy for the Baltics.

“Our aim is to acquire a leading market position in all Baltic countries, the combined market of which comprises about 7.6 million people. In Lithuania, we can make use of our competence and experience of the Baltic markets.”

Another of Finland’s largest bakery companies, Fazer Bakeries, completed a similar investment when it acquired a majority stake in Gardesis, another major Lithuanian bread and confectionery producer, last December.