US cereal firm ‘plans £1.5bn Weetabix takeover bid’

Weetabix could be the subject of a £1.5bn takeover offer from Post Holdings

US-based cereal maker Post Holdings is reportedly lining up a £1.5bn deal to buy Weetabix.

Post Holdings was just one of two bidders remaining for Weetabix, Sky News said. Post Holdings – the US’s third biggest cereal producer – was “running hard” to finalise the acquisition by the end of March, the broadcaster reported.

Revised bids for Weetabix were due in the next few days, it was reported.

Revised bids

Weetabix’s majority owner – China’s Bright Food Group – reportedly hired Goldman Sachs to sell the breakfast cereal manufacturer in December. It was reported that Weetabix could have been sold for £1bn by the end of January.

Bright Food Group acquired a 60% stake in Weetabix in 2012. After it failed to break into the Chinese market, where consumers tend to eat hot breakfasts, the Chinese owner wanted to sell Weetabix, Reuters reported.

Long-term development of Weetabix

Bright Foods’s acquisition of Weetabix was the largest overseas takeover by a Chinese company in the food and drink sector, at the time. It wanted to invest in the long-term development of Weetabix, especially in Asia.

Weetabix declined to comment on the speculation. FoodManufacture.co.uk approached Post Holdings for a response to the reports. Read the full Sky News report here.

Meanwhile, the number of UK and Irish businesses acquired by overseas investors accounted for 34% of all deals in the third quarter of 2016, a Grant Thornton survey revealed. With the weakening of the pound following the EU referendum result, overseas investors could pay 15–20% less for assets, the financial advisory firm said.

 

Weetabix reported sale – at a glance
  • Post Holdings prepares £1.5bn bid
  • Two companies remaining in bid
  • Deal could be finalised by end of March

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