Toronto-based George Weston Ltd., parent company of Weston Foods and retailer Loblaw, has purchased ACE Bakery for $110 million.
ACE Bakery, also based in Toronto, manufactures artisan and European-style breads and baked goods. As well as retailing to consumers, ACE supplies breads to restaurants, hotels and catering companies. It also produces a partially baked baguette sold frozen for reheating by consumers.
Jeff Wilson, senior vice-president of George Weston Ltd., told Food in Canada that ACE is a very good fit for Weston. “The ACE Bakery brand is very well known in Canada, and has had good profitability and growth over the years, so we plan to continue that growth. We plan to leverage specifically with the par baked opportunity in the U.S.”
“We have a frozen ready-bake line in Canada and in the U.S. under Maplehurst Bakeries, but the specialty par bake product like that ACE has fits in nicely with our products,” says Wilson, adding that there is no overlap in product lines.
Wilson says that ACE will continue to be operated as a stand-alone business.
This is the second major bakery acquisition for Weston in recent months. In August its U.S. subsidiary Maplehurst bought frozen baked-goods manufacturer Keystone Bakery for US$185 million.