Baker Greggs' UK pasty dominance is to come under increasing pressure as two of its rivals are set to announce a tie-up as part of a multi-million pound deal.
Samworth Brothers, which owns a variety of brands including Ginsters, will announce this week plans to buy West Cornwall Pasty Co – a celebrity-backed firm that was saved from extinction by turnaround specialists Endless, according to reports by Sky News.
Enact, a fund focusing on small-business investments and managed by Endless, will net a bumper return from the deal for investors, which include Celebrity Masterchef runner-up and former England football star Danny Mills.
The West Cornwall Pasty Co business was restructured following Endless' purchase of the firm in April 2014. The Leeds-based fund appointed administrators from PwC to help drive through sale via an insolvency process.
As a result, Endless picked up 35 stores under the brand, saving 200 jobs in the process.
The deal was the first investment made by its small business focussed arm Enact.
For the year ending March 2016, West Cornwall Pasty Co earnings jumped 85 per cent to just over £1m. Particularly successful new initiatives hailed by the firm included selling via motorway service stations and agreeing a contract to flog the Cornish speciality at England's rugby home, Twickenham.