Blackburn's billionaire Issa brothers have made another major purchase by acquiring the second largest bakery in the UK.

EG Group, which is owned by Zuber and Mohsin Issa, announced it has acquired CS Food Group Holdings Limited, also known as Cooplands, a bakery major business.

Cooplands owns and operates high-quality bakery assets in the UK, including three bakeries that process ingredients and manufacture fresh food distributed through its supply and logistics network to about 180 stores and cafes, predominantly across the north-east and Yorkshire regions.

Founded by Frederick and Alice Coopland in 1885, Cooplands employs more than 1,600 people and is the UK’s second-largest bakery chain.

Lancashire Telegraph: Staff at a Cooplands bakery

The acquisition will accelerate EG Group’s growing and successful diversification into foodservice and adds highly complementary assets that will drive development opportunities in other parts of the business.

Founders and Co-CEOs of EG Group, Zuber and Mohsin Issa, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Cooplands’ many talented colleagues to the EG Group family.

"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.

“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.

“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 transaction will provide a platform to diversify the Cooplands brand into the transient petrol forecourt and retail convenience store channel, alongside the bakery chain’s traditional store formats, through EG Group’s extensive UK network.

The acquisition of Cooplands as a proprietary brand follows EG Group’s acquisition of LEON, the British ‘naturally fast food’ restaurant chain, in May 2021.

These two brands complement EG Group’s extensive foodservice brand portfolio, including popular third-party brands such as Starbucks, KFC and Subway.

EG Group plans to invest in the Cooplands brand and fresh food offer, to help ensure it continues to satisfy existing customers and attract new ones.

CEO of Cooplands, Belinda Youngs, said: “Cooplands is proud to be joining EG Group and bringing our long history of skills and expertise in the bakery industry in both manufacturing and retail to the company.

"We are looking forward to a great future for the Cooplands brand.”