The acquisition of Finsbury comes during an incredibly challenging time for UK food and drink manufacturers, with insolvencies up by more than 100% during the year to June as cost inflation continues to run at double-digit pace.

The Cardiff-headquartered group - which owns Scottish bakeries Lees, Lightbody and Johnstone's - has agreed to a £143.4 million takeover offer from asset management firm DBAY that will see its shares de-listed from London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Investors have the option of taking 110p in cash for each share held, or there is an alternative offer for those who want to retain an equity interest in the business.

READ MORE: Lees, Lightbody & Johnstone's to come under new ownership

Figures today from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show slowing food prices helped to drive a surprise fall in inflation in August, with the core Consumer Price Index (CPI) measurement edging down to 6.7% from 6.8% in July. However, the cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages was still up 13.6% on a year earlier as production expenses remain high with commodity prices up 22% from prior to the pandemic.

Keen to retain customers under intense financial pressure, supermarkets are driving hard bargains with their suppliers. This is why shelf prices have not gone up in line with increases in production costs, which in turn is pushing a growing number of manufacturers into financial distress.

READ MORE: Head of Lees Foods to retire following £5.7m sale to Finsbury

This should in theory present Finsbury's new owners with bargain acquisition opportunities as DBAY seeks transformational deals of "the scale required to be successful in an increasingly competitive and demanding marketplace". Via DBAY the group will also presumably have access to greater financial firepower than that afforded by its AIM listing.

Earlier this year Lees, which has been making confectionery in Coatbridge since 1931, noted the "unprecedented" challenges facing the sector. In July Finsbury said it was successfully navigating cost inflation through changes to commercial terms and operating improvements, and this would need to remain a focus going forward.

There will no doubt be more on that when the group publishes its annual results on Tuesday, having already flagged a 16% rise in revenues in a trading update in July.