Somerset

Ministry of Cake sold to French Mademoiselle Desserts

Cake Image copyright Ministry of Cake
Image caption Ministry of Cake had a £30m turnover last year

A Somerset-based dessert-making firm has been sold to a French food company for an undisclosed sum.

Ministry of Cake employs 400 people at its Taunton and Torquay factories. It evolved from Maynards Sweets in Yeovil which was established in 1865.

Managing director Chris Ormrod, said: "This deal secures jobs and investment in a company which is firmly rooted in the West Country."

The buyer, Mademoiselle Desserts, has other sites in Maidenhead and Corby.

"We ultimately were owned by a private equity house - we borrowed £11m two years ago and wrote a four-year plan.

"We've achieved that plan in two years and pretty much all of last year we had people knocking on our door asking if we would be up for sale," said Mr Ormrod.

'Brexit uncertainty'

Ministry of Cake had a turnover of £30m last year. It supplies desserts to major pub and restaurant chains including JD Wetherspoon and TGI Friday.

Mademoiselle Desserts employs more than 1,400 in eight production sites in France, the UK and the Netherlands.

Its customers in the UK include Marks and Spencer Food.

Mr Ormrod said management and staff jobs were safe and having a new owner would open up new career opportunities in France for staff.

"We've had a really good year this year and we've grown ourselves by 10%. We've won some big contracts. This is more about looking to the future.

"We're in that perfect storm of not knowing quite where Brexit is going to take us and what it means to tariff barriers, so this was about securing the business as it is and giving ourselves some real room to grow with a very supportive parent," he said.

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