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July 13, 2022

UK baker St Pierre Groupe ‘reviewing strategic options’

St Pierre Groupe has reportedly hired advisers from US investment bank Harris Williams to oversee the process.

By Andy Coyne

St Pierre Groupe, the UK bakery firm, is reported to be weighing up its future options, which could include a sale of the business.

UK broadcaster Sky News reported St Pierre Groupe, based in Manchester in north-west England, has hired advisers from US investment bank Harris Williams to “review strategic options that could include a GBP200m (US$237.9m) partial or full sale, netting a windfall for shareholders such as the UK bank-backed Business Growth Fund”.

St Pierre Groupe would neither confirm nor deny the story when contacted by Just Food. A spokesperson said: “We have no comment. It is business as usual.”

Just Food has also contacted Harris Williams seeking comment. The bank, which has a London office, specialises in advisory services and financing for middle-market companies. Its advisory services include M&A and restructuring advice.

St Pierre Groupe, co-founded by Jeremy Gilboy and Paul Baker, shuffled its executive pack last September in search of further growth.

David Milner, who had been working with the business and whose CV included chief executive roles at UK crisps maker Tyrrells and UK pet-food group Lily’s Kitchen, was inserted as CEO as part of a plan to double the value of the business in five years, partly through further international expansion.

Gilboy became chairman and Baker international director. The duo remains majority shareholders in the bakery business, which has a portfolio of brands including St Pierre, Baker Street and Paul Hollywood.

St Pierre Groupe has had success in the US where it says it has risen to become the country’s best-selling brioche brand. Its products are sold in more than 35,000 stores worldwide.

Milner said on taking up the CEO role: “There is still huge potential. I is innovative, superior quality and branded. The workforce has increased threefold in 18 months and I’m excited to guide the team to even greater success.”

He was charged with nurturing relationships in the US and exploring new opportunities to expand the company’s geographic footprint.

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