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Spudulike buys Fat Jackets

The Spudulike Group has bought Courts Quality Foods, owner
of rival brand Fat Jackets, for an undisclosed cash sum

Spudulike says this makes it the UK’s largest baked-potato
chain.

The deal adds 20 Courts outlets to Spudulike’s 30 branches. They
include 15 Fat Jackets and five Serious Sandwich Stores and FJ Cools ice cream
bars.

Chris and Susan Leighton, who founded Courts in 1988, will
continue to run the Courts brands (which will not be renamed) for the next 12
months.

Spudulike chairman Tony Schlesinger said the deal would
provide more expansion opportunities. He intends to open up to six new units a
year.

Spudulike, created by Barbara and David Leggate in 1974, was
bought by the British School of Motoring in 1982 before passing into the hands
of the Schlesinger family in 1996.

It has changed from a largely franchised high-street
operation of around 50 sites to a primarily company-owned chain sited, like
Courts, in regional and city shopping centres in the UK and Ireland.

The enlarged group will have annual turnover and pre-tax
profits in excess of £15m and £1m respectively.

Last year’s turnover and pre-tax profits were £590,000 and
£7.3m for Spudulike, and £350,000 and £6m for Courts.

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