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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
Andrew Arthur

Cornish pasty maker Proper Cornish acquired by French food group

Cornish pasty maker Proper Cornish has been acquired by a French food group for an undisclosed sum.

The savoury pastries brand has been bought by Groupe Boncolac, which supplies frozen desserts and appetisers made at its four factories in France.

The company, which operates a 58,000 sq ft bakery in Bodmin and has reported a current turnover of £26m, said the deal would enable it to access new markets in Europe.

Formed in the 1950s, Boncolac’s products are sold in more than 30 countries to retail and food service clients as well as freezer centres.

Proper Cornish, which itself supplies retailers, the education sector and sports stadiums with its wares, said its senior management team would will remain in place to help deliver its “exciting” growth plans.

Managing director Chris Pauling said: “Since 1988 we’ve worked hard to build Proper Cornish to where it is today, and we just know there is so much more potential.

“As a founding member of Proper Cornish, I was extremely keen to ensure we found the right partner to take the Company to the next level, and I’m confident that Groupe Boncolac is that partner; their brand and people ethics, and their product quality reflect those of Proper Cornish, so I’m really excited for the future of Proper Cornish”.

Last year Boncolac’s management conducted, together with Waterland Private Equity, leveraged a buy-out to become a fully independent group, with an ambition of building a pan-European leader of frozen snacks and desserts.

The group said the UK had been “a strong focus” for its development, establishing a British limited company in 2015 in order to grow its operations across The Channel.

Chief executive Alexandre Vigneron, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Proper Cornish Ltd within the Groupe Boncolac. I have been impressed by the quality of the Proper Cornish management team, as well as the great product positioning with respect to the traditional manufacturing techniques.

“We are looking forward to starting a fruitful collaboration between our companies in the UK and abroad”.

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