Supermarket chain Metro Inc. is buying a majority stake in leading Quebec bakery Première Moisson for an undisclosed price.
The Colpron-Fiset family, which founded the bakery in 1992, will retain 25 per cent of the company and continue to manage its 23 stores and three production plants.
Montreal-based Metro says the partnership is set to close in a few weeks and will allow the grocer to differentiate itself by offering a broader range of premium bakery products.
Metro says it plans to expand Première Moisson's premium artisan brands throughout Quebec and eventually across Ontario.
Première Moisson president Liliane Colpron says the partnership with Quebec's leading food chain allows the company to make the leap from a family business to one that can reach more customers.
The bakery has 22 locations in Greater Montreal and one in Ottawa, and sells its products in grocery stores in both provinces.
The acquisition is the latest move in Canada's grocery wars, with rival Loblaw buying Shoppers Drug Mart in an effort to diversify its offerings for consumers and Sobeys buying Safeway in a bid to claim more of the market.
Grocers' margins are being squeezed as they keep prices low to build customer loyalty.
Metro operates a network of almost 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores. It has annual sales of more than $11 billion and employs more than 65,000 people.