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China’s Bright Food buys Weetabix

May 4, 2012 Comments Off Print Print

China’s Bright Food has bought a controlling stake in Weetabix, which owns the breakfast cereal brand as well as Alpen and Ready Brek

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Weetabix

Bright Food will take a 60% stake in Weetabix in a deal that values the company at £1.2bn.

The Northamptonshire-based firm was family-owned until 2004, when it was bought by Lion Capital.

Bright Food, which generated revenues of around £7.5bn last year, is looking to take advantage of China’s “growing appetite” for healthy foods and to drive Weetabix’s growth across Asia.

Bright Food chairman Zongnan Wang said: “With Bright Food’s strong resources and our expertise in both the Chinese and broader international markets, we are excellently placed to develop the Weetabix business.”

On the question of job security for the UK workforce, he told Sky News the company was “here to help”.

Weetabix, which is the UK’s second biggest cereal manufacturer, exports to more than 80 countries, employs nearly 2,000 people and generates annual sales of more than £420m.

The Weetabix cereal alone accounts for 7% of UK cereal sales.

Weetabix chief executive Giles Turrell said: “While the company’s focus has been on reinforcing and building on our leading position in the UK, I believe there are also substantial opportunities to further grow the business internationally, in North America, Asia and beyond.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory and government approvals in China , although completion of the deal is expected in the second half of the year.

abc1

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