Chinese firm to buy 60pc stake in Weetabix

Fri, 04 May 2012 | BUSINESS SALE

A Chinese firm has agreed to buy a 60 per cent stake in Weetabix, the UK's second biggest maker of breakfast cereals.

Shanghai-based Bright Food purchased the majority stake in the firm in a deal which puts a value of £1.2 billion (including debt) on the firm following lengthy discussions regarding the buy-out.

It marks the latest in a trend for acquisitions made by the Chinese firm as Bright Food is looking to raise its profile by building up a collection of foreign brands. Weetabix should allow it to do this as it owns a number of recognisable names, including Alpen muesli, Ready Brek and Weetabix itself.

Wang Zhongnan, chairman of Bright Food, said in a statement regarding the purchase: “As China's leading food group, we are pleased to become the controlling shareholder of Weetabix.

"Weetabix has an excellent product portfolio, including leading British cereal brand Weetabix and other category-leading brands."

Weetabix management and private equity owners Lion Capital will keep a 40 per cent stake in the company.

The firm has been established for around 80 years and was bought by a private equity firm back in 2004. In its native UK market, it is second to Kellogg in terms of market share.

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