DBAY Advisors makes take-private move for UK baker

Wise Equity to exit printer business.

We have the perfect news for breakfast time to open with, as we feature the latest take-private move in the UK. This time it’s DBAY Advisors looking to buy a bakery company.

Next, Wise Equity agrees terms on an exit from a printer manufacturer, before we finish with IK Partners taking a co-controlling stake in a measuring device business.


Finsbury Food Group, a UK bakery company that supplies supermarket own-label brands and restaurants, hotels and pubs, is the latest listed company to attract private interest.

The board of the Cardiff-headquartered company this morning recommended an offer from DBAY Advisors. Shareholders can opt for a 110p cash offer that values the total share capital of Finsbury at around £143 million ($177 million; €165 million) or receive non-voting B ordinary shares.

The valuation is a 23.6 percent premium to Finsbury’s closing price yesterday, 54.9 percent to the closing price on 2 September 2022, just before DBAY’s shareholding in Finsbury became public, and 22.3 percent to the average of the 12 months up to yesterday. Finsbury’s share price jumped from about 90p at yesterday’s closing to just shy of the offer price at time of writing.

“We have been supportive shareholders of the business for over a year and have been impressed with the management team during our ownership, but we strongly believe Finsbury would benefit from transformational M&A including international expansion and this would be better achieved in private ownership without the barrier of the current listing,” said DBAY chief executive Alexander Paiusco in a statement.

Finsbury had total group sales of £413.7 million in its 2023 financial year, according to a statement on 19 July. Revenues in the second half were up 17.1 percent versus a year earlier, driven by price and incremental volume from its acquisition of Lees Foods.

Net bank debt, excluding IFRS 16 debt, is expected to be £21.4 million as of 1 July 2023, up from £20.6 million in 2022.

Barclays Bank, Rabobank, HSBC and Hayfin are among the debt facilities providers.

Investec Bank is the financial adviser to DBAY and Oppenheimer is the financial adviser to Finsbury. Panmure Gordon is the nominated adviser and broker to Finsbury.


Wise Equity has signed an agreement to sell Aleph, a digital printer and scanner manufacturer for the textile and visual communication sectors, to Durst Group.

Wisequity IV fund invested in Aleph in 2017.

Aleph will be the fifth divestment of Wisequity IV, following Corob, TrimeTapì and Tatuus. The fund was raised in 2016 with a capital commitment of €215 million.

“We are very proud to have accompanied Aleph through these years of transformation, from a distributor to a system manufacturer, now among the leaders in sustainable innovation,” said Valentina Franceschini, senior partner at Wise Equity.


IK Partners, via IK Small Cap III Fund, has acquired a co-controlling stake in Metrology & Monitoring Solutions Group (MMS), a producer of temperature and humidity measuring devices for the healthcare and food industries, from Naxicap Partners.

MMS’ CEO and management team will reinvest in the company.

IK will invest from its dedicated pool of development capital, according to a release.

“Having closely monitored the industry since our prior investment in Ellab, we believe that the MMS platform is in a strong position to ambitiously pursue market consolidation in the IoT, metrology and validation services space within the healthcare and food industries,” said Pierre Gallix, partner at IK Partners and advisor to the IK Small Cap III Fund.

MMS also aims to accelerate international development, and strengthen and diversify its product offering, the release said.