Petrol station forecourt operator EG Group is continuing its acquisition spree by buying the Cooplands bakery group for an undisclosed sum.
Cooplands was founded in 1885 and is the UK's second largest bakery chain, employing more than 1,600 people across 180 cafes and stores predominantly in the north of England.
EG plans to invest in the brand and roll it out to petrol station forecourts and convenience stores across its portfolio.
It is the latest in a string of foodservice acquisitions for EG, which is owned by the billionaire Issa brothers. The company bought the 70-strong Leon restaurant group in May and is now the largest KFC franchisee in western Europe after acquiring a further 52 restaurants across the UK last month.
Zuber and Mohsin Issa said in a statement: "Cooplands has a proven track record in the fresh bakery sector and vertical integration with EG Group will help to further drive our success in foodservice, where we continue to see strong growth opportunities in the UK and globally.
"The transaction will broaden the reach of Cooplands beyond the brand's northern heartlands and bring its much-loved food to more existing and new customers through EG Group's unparalleled network of roadside forecourts and retail convenience stores. We know that Cooplands' impressive bakery platform and our food service expertise will be a winning combination."
The Issas also acquired supermarket chain Asda for £6.8b this year and own the Stanley House Hotel & Spa in Lancashire.
They made an unsuccessful bid to take over Caffè Nero in November and last week a High Court judge dismissed a legal challenge to the coffee chain's restructuring plans, which court documents showed was funded by EG.