Finsbury makes Genius sale of gluten-free business for £21m

Kasmira Jefford
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The company makes gluten free cakes (Source: Getty)

Finsbury Foods, the cake and bread-maker, has sold its Free From business for £21m to gluten- free food specialist Genius Foods, it announced yesterday.

The acquisition includes subsidiaries Livwell and United Central Bakeries, which together produce gluten-free products, milk and wheat-free products as well as yum yums and potato scones.

Free From accounted for 14 per cent of Finsbury Food’s revenues last year with total sales of £28.5m.

Finsbury chief executive John Duffy said the proceeds from the sale will help accelerate growth in its remaining bread and cake business and that it was hunting for further bolt-on acquisitions.

The Aim-listed company, which makes breads and cakes for Weightwatchers, Thorntons and Disney, struck up a joint venture with Genius in 2010, which gave the Edinburgh-based firm the option to buy out UCB and Livell.

Genius will pay Finsbury £17.7m upfront and the remaining £3m next year. The firm, which was set up in 2009, said the deal will make it one of the largest food companies in Scotland with a turnover of nearly £50m in 2013.

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