Belgian bakery group Pidy has been acquired by the family-owned French firm Biscuits Bouvard Group.

Pidy said the friendly takeover was launched so that Pidy’s current CEO Thierry Dehaeck “could begin to relinquish himself from the day-to-day business activities while ensuring the group’s further growth”.

However, Pidy said Thierry will continue to provide advice on a consultancy basis during the initial months of the takeover.

Pridy, which is based in Ypres, was founded in 1968 by Thierry’s father Andre Dehaeck. Today, with a turnover of around EUR40m (US$44m), Pidy is a leading producer of baked puff pastry products with production sites in Belgium, France and the US. The group also has five sales organisations for Benelux, France, the US and export markets serving more than 50 countries.

Biscuits Bouvard, managed by Pierre-Alain Laine with the support of his father Alain, is a family business that has been operating in the private label biscuit sector for 25 years. The company, which has a strong presence in Europe, has a combined turnover of EUR250m.

Pidy said that with Bouvard’s “key interest lying in the heart of Europe, the Pidy UK and American operations are of significant interests in this acquisition, as Bouvard expands into these relatively untapped markets to develop both their biscuit and pastry interests”.

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By GlobalData

Pidy UK’s general manager Robert Whittle, who will lead the Bouvard/Pidy operation in the UK, said: “Being part of a larger family-owned group brings the UK business a huge wealth of potential.”

Whittle said plans for the future roll-out of private label biscuits “bring just one significant development to our expansion plans, but moreover it has been made clear, from the plans presented by the Bouvard management, that they see pastry innovation as the key to continued growth in the Pidy range with investment plans in NPD, plant and machinery having already begun in earnest”.

Whittle said there will be “no changes in business names or personnel in this deal”. Pidy UK’s 40% growth over the last three years “is set to continue in the pastry side of the business and it is very much business as normal”, he said.