Lanarkshire’s Lees of Scotland set for acquisition by Finsbury Food Group
pic: Lees of Scotland
Lanarkshire-based confectionery business Lees of Scotlands is reportedly in the process of being acquired by the Finsbury Food Group, in a deal put at £5.7 million, writes Neill Barston.
The company, which produces meringues, teacakes and snowball product ranges, has gained a major following in the UK, having traded in Britain since 1931.
Employing around 200 staff, the business, started by John Justice Lees, who is said to have ‘accidentally invented the macaroon bar’ at his father’s store, had become a household name through the decades. Its ownership has changed several times, including having been bought by Northumbrian Fine Foods in 1991, before returning to independent Scottish ownership in 1993, moving into new 82,000 square foot premises at Coatbridge in 1998, and celebrated its 90th anniversary of trading in 2021.
According to national media reports, the deal from Finsbury is for a complete capital share of the company, with the business said to have net sales of £21 million last year, amid a comparatively buoyant period for the confectionery sector, despite present wider turbulence within supply chains and ingredients prices.
Speaking to Scotland’s Daily Record, Finsbury chief executive John Duffy noted that the acquisition would enable the company to bolster its manufacturing within the country.
He said: “Lees currently has a well-established position in the UK meringue category and strong relationships across a high quality and diverse customer base.
“This provides Finsbury with the opportunity to build upon both businesses’ existing retail relationships and unlock further commercial opportunities, including out of home.”