New funding triggers ambitious expansion for Bristol bakery firm Parsons

Bristol bakery business Parsons plans to increase its outlets from 34 to 70 over the next three years having secured a seven-figure finance agreement plus investment from a fund to finance the expansion.

Parsons, which operates a single central bakery in Bristol, wants to open 12 shops a year for the next three years, creating at least 90 full-time and many more part-time jobs.

Finance for the project has come from Santander Corporate & Commercial banking, complemented by a tranche of equity investment from SME fund MTLS Ventures.

Parsons was founded more than 100 years ago and its branch network extends across Bristol, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Berkshire. It was advised on the deal by accountants Baker Tilly and Bristol law firm Temple Bright. Swindon law firm Clark Holt provided legal advice to MTLS.

Santander’s Simon Whyatt said Parsons is a strong, well-managed business with a heritage brand that has potential for significant growth.

Matt Eves, of MTLS Ventures, added: “We are delighted to have provided expansion capital to Parsons to enable the management team to grow the business to 70 sites.

“MTLS has been set up to provide successful businesses with the additional risk capital that is just out of the comfort zones of typical bank funding. It’s great to be working with Nick and Chris to support the growth of the business. It promises to be an exciting three years for all of us.”

Temple Bright corporate partner Tim Summers said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Parsons Bakery, a well-established South West brand, to takes its operation to the next level. The deal was delivered with a positive, can-do attitude on all sides. I’m sure Parsons will work really well with MTLS in the years ahead – and grow as quickly as planned.”

This article appeared in the Bristol Business Newsletter on 8 March 2013.