Forecourt giant EG Group has snapped up Cooplands, the UK’s second biggest bakery chain, as it continues to expand its food service operations.

EG, which operates 6,000 forecourts globally and around 400 in the UK, bought the Scarborough-based chain for an undisclosed sum.

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Cooplands, which is predominantly focused in the North East and Yorkshire, was founded in 1885 and employs more than 1,600 staff.

The chain runs 180 bakers’ shops and cafes, as well as three large bakeries that produce the products sold at its sites.

Zuber and Mohsin Issa, the billionaire brothers from Burnley behind EG Group, said they plan to broaden the reach of Cooplands “beyond the brand’s northern heartlands” through EG’s roadside network.

The acquisition comes a week after EG bought 52 KFC restaurants across the South and South West, in a deal which will give the firm more than 220 franchise sites across Europe and the UK.

EG also bought healthy fast food business Leon in May for around £100 million.

The Issa brothers said: “We are very pleased to welcome Cooplands’ many talented colleagues to the EG Group family.

“Cooplands has a proven track record in the fresh bakery sector and vertical integration with EG Group will help to further drive our success in food service, where we continue to see strong growth opportunities in the UK and globally.”

Belinda Youngs, chief executive of Cooplands, 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.”