Risk Capital Partners (RCP), led by Luke Johnson, is looking again at selling its Gail’s bakery business, and has hired financial services firm Nomura to explore options.

Johnson told MCA: ”Risk Capital Partners LLP has been the majority shareholder in Gail’s for 10 years and we feel it is time for a new investor.

”The business is performing very well and has great prospects and there are plenty of private equity firms looking to buy growing companies.”

According to a report by Sky News, industry sources have claimed that Gail’s could command a price-tag of up to £250m, with revenues expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels for the current financial year.

It’s not the first time Johnson has explored a sale of the business. In October 2019 he reportedly resurrected plans to divest parts of the business and had began sounding out bankers about an auction of part or all of Bread Holdings.

Gail’s, which opened its first site in 2005, now operates 68 neighbourhood bakeries, and in recent years has expanded outside its London heartland to Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton and Tunbridge Wells.

Speaking to MCA in September last year, Gail’s CEO Tom Molnar said the business planned to open more new sites this year than two years previously.

“Because of the uncertainty of the environment, I want to make sure that we take care the core part of what we do,” Molnar explained

“But we’ve tried to keep some forward momentum. And there’s so many more attractive deals out there for property.”

RCP recently acquired Curious Brewery, from English wine producer Chapel Down.