Meringue, teacake and snowball manufacturer Lees Foods has been sold to larger bakery rival Finsbury Food Group in a cash deal worth £5.7 million.

Established in 1931, Lees employs more than 200 staff at its site in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire. Its market-leading position in the UK manufacture of meringues will help to diversify Finsbury's existing sweet treats product range.

Finsbury noted that Lees has a broad customer base and strong supply relationships with the leading UK supermarkets, as well as foodservice and export customers.

Finsbury said it will be able to leverage the scale and breadth its commercial team and licensed brand portfolio to drive incremental growth for Lees. In addition, there will be scale cost synergies over time.


“We are delighted to announce the strategic acquisition of Lees Foods Limited, as we consolidate our position in the sweet treats sector and grow our manufacturing presence in Scotland," Finsbury chief executive John Duffy said.

"Lees currently has a well-established position in the UK meringue category and strong relationships across a high-quality and diverse customer base.

"This provides Finsbury with the opportunity to build upon both businesses’ existing retail relationships and unlock further commercial opportunities, including out of home. We look forward to welcoming Lees to the wider group.”

Lees generated underlying earnings of £900,000 in 2022 on sales of £21.6m. Finsbury said the acquisition will immediately enhance earnings.

Lees is being acquired on a cash and debt-free basis with an agreed level of working capital. The deal is being funded entirely from Finsbury's existing debt facilities.