| UK

EG Group acquires UK bakery and café chain, Cooplands

Global forecourt operator adds to its growing portfolio of food-focused coffee chains, with the acquisition of northern England-based Cooplands

A Cooplands store in York, UK | Photo credit: DJenkins CC BY-SA 4.0

EG Group has expanded its UK food-to-go portfolio after acquiring baker and café chain Cooplands for an undisclosed sum. Cooplands, which is mainly based in the north of England, operates 187 bakery shops alongside 12 café concepts and three large bakery sites that produce its products.
In a press release, EG Group said it intended to launch the Cooplands brand at petrol forecourt and retail store locations alongside its current store format.
“Following the acquisition of Leon in May, Cooplands is another fantastic fresh food brand to add to EG Group’s existing portfolio of third-party foodservice brands, said EG Group Founders and Co-CEOs Zuber and Mohsin Issa.
“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 food service, where we continue to see strong growth opportunities in the UK and globally,” they added.  
The acquisition is the forecourt operator’s latest foray into the UK bakery and coffee chain market. In April 2021, EG Group acquired food-to-go chain Leon, which has around 42 company-owned and 29 franchise sites, for around £100m ($139m). 
In May, EG group announced it would press ahead with plans to scale US bakery and coffee chain Cinnabon in the UK after opening a Blackburn-based bakery and distribution centre to support up to 50 Cinnabon stores.
In a further sign of EG Group’s growing ambitions in the UK’s branded coffee chain market, the forecourt operator bought £180m of Caffè Nero debt in late 2020 – a move which could enable owners Mohsin and Zuber Issa to take control of the coffee chain if it defaults on its debts.
Caffè Nero, which has around 600 coffee shops in the UK, has so far successfully resisted takeover attempts, with the group’s CEO Gerry Ford reportedly in talks to restructure the debt.
Founded in 2001, EG Group operates a portfolio of more than 6,000 petrol station sites around the world, including 700 in the UK and Ireland with licensed branches of prominent brands including Starbucks, KFC, Cinnabon and Greggs.

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