St Pierre, Manchester bakery, bought by Grupo Bimbo

Growth investor BGF announced a successful exit of Manchester bakery firm St Pierre Groupe following its acquisition by Grupo Bimbo, one of the world’s largest baked goods and snacking companies.

BGF said it originally backed St Pierre Groupe, now the biggest brioche brand in the UK and the US, with an £8 million investment in November 2018.

Bakery trade publications speculated the deal for St Pierre Groupe is worth more than £300 million.

“The exit has generated a money multiple of 9.6x and an IRR of 85% for BGF,” said the investor.

St Pierre Groupe was founded in 1986 by Paul Baker and Jeremy Gilboy and had revenues of £111.5 million in 2021.

As a specialist branded supplier to the bakery industry, the company provides a range of products under three brands – St Pierre, Baker Street and Paul Hollywood.

Its products are stocked in over 35,000 retail and wholesale stores worldwide, as well as online in the UK, US, Europe and the Middle East.

A spokeswoman for Grupo Bimbo said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the St Pierre Groupe into the Grupo Bimbo fold.

“As the biggest brioche brand in the UK and the US, it has already seen tremendous success within the category. Whilst the business has been fully acquired by Grupo Bimbo it will continue to operate independently.

“We look forward to the success that both businesses will have as we move into the future together.”

BGF said: “During BGF’s investment period, the business has successfully scaled its operations internationally, including a rapid expansion programme in the USA which now constitutes approximately 50% of the business’ annual sales revenue.

“St Pierre Groupe has also secured new listings with several leading retailers in the UK and USA, as well as expanding its product range across multiple categories, with revenues increasing from £69 million in 2018 to £111.5 million in 2021.”

St Pierre Groupe co-founder Paul Baker said: “BGF has been an excellent partner and their investment in 2018 was the catalyst to accelerating our growth and helping us realise our goals to successfully scale operations here in the UK, as well as achieving international expansion into key markets and building strong relationships with leading retailers around the world.”

Ben Barker, Head of Portfolio North at BGF, said: “We’re delighted to announce an outstanding exit of St Pierre Groupe, following a highly successful four-year investment period that has seen the business rapidly scale its branded sales and expand its presence across the USA through new listings with leading retailers.

“We’re incredibly proud of the impact St Pierre Groupe has had on the region, increasing its headcount and building a strong trans-Atlantic brand here in the North West, which is testament to the management team and local talent available.

“It’s been a privilege to be part of the company’s fantastic growth journey, we wish the team all the best and look forward to seeing what the future holds for the business.”

St Pierre Groupe shareholders were advised by investment bank Harris Williams. Pinsent Masons provided sell-side legal advice, and vendor financial due diligence was provided by KPMG. Commercial vendor diligence was provided by PWC and McKinsey.