A PETROL station forecourt operator has bought a North Yorkshire bakery chain for an undisclosed sum.

EG Group is continuing its acquisition spree by taking on the Cooplands bakery group.

Founded by Frederick and Alice Coopland as a pork butcher and pie maker in Scarborough in 1885, Cooplands has become the UK's second largest bakery chain.

It now employs more than 1,600 people across 180 cafes and stores, mainly in the north of England, with several branches in York as well as Selby, Tadcaster, Wetherby and Pocklington, among others.

Cooplands' assets include three bakeries that process ingredients and manufacture fresh food, distributed through its supply and logistics network. The deal will enable the brand to diversify alongside its traditional store formats, through EG Group’s UK network of petrol forecourts and convenience stores.

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.

Belinda Youngs, Cooplands CEO, 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.”