Cereal Takeover: Chinese Firm Buys Weetabix
British cereal favourite Weetabix has come under Chinese ownership after a Shanghai firm bought a majority stake in the Northampton-based business, promising global expansion.
Chinese state-backed firm Bright Food has agreed to buy 60% share of the Weetabix Food Company, while current private equity owner Lion Capital will retain a 40% stake.
The deal saw the British cereal giant, which also owns Alpen and Ready Brek, valued at £1.2bn.
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.
Speaking on Jeff Randall Live, Zongnan Wang, chairman of Bright Food said: "We believe Weetabix is a very good target because it has very iconic brand. Also it has a product portfolio which are mainly healthy products.
"[At] Bright Food we think we can provide a strong financial support for this business to continue to grow."
On the question of job security for the UK workforce, he said: "The objective we invest in Weetabix is to help accelerate the growth of the company. I believe through the accelerated growth the employees of Weetabix can also benefit from that growth in future."
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.
Northampton-based Weetabix was founded in 1932 and was family owned until 2004 when it was bought by a Texan private equity firm.
:: Chinese clothes retailer Trinity Limited has confirmed its acquisition of the Savile Row tailor Gieves and Hawkes - from another Chinese firm.
It has paid Hong Kong-listed Wing Tai Properties Limited an initial £32.5m for the business.
Trinity has said it will make additional annual payments for 18 years of up to a cumulative maximum of £60m, subject to the future growth of Gieves & Hawkes' business in Greater China.
what do you think?
On the face of it,not a bad deal.But why did they need to virtually sell out in order to get a wider market share ? ...Or is that the way Asian country,s work.. false import barriers to trade on their terms!.. Hope its not another Cadburys take over. Its only a breakfast cereal ..who cares ..I do, and so should YOU
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
...IT WILL BE MADE IN CHINA NOW SO OBVIOUSLY IT WILL BE A LOT CHEAPER !
Dream on, Stuart. We'll soon be paying import duty on it, when production moves to China.
I will never buy Weetabix ever again. The Chinese are reknowned for replacing with plastics and poisons.
Get used to it. China is poised to take over the world, to become the number one driving force in everything,. The USA is about to become a bit player like the UK has been for sometime now!
We are quickly becoming just the workforce for foreign employers. Soon we will own nothing in this country, and will merely be tenants. Mind you, it had to happen sometime. China, India, Russia and Brazil are the major growth economies. China has a $3 trillion sovereign fund that they are using to buy up key infrastructure and major companies in other countries. We sold out to the Arabs for their oil back in the 1970s, and now it's to China for their surplus cash. The Chinese sovereign slush fund is 3 times the size of the US national debt. We simply can't compete with those figures. Why do you think even the US are trying to sweet talk the Chinese at the moment? They want some of that investment!
Never underestimate the importance of the British Standards kite symbol.
So our Government allows us to lose another firm to an overseas firm which means that about 80% of all firms in the UK are owned by foreigners and they pay no tax. We have to pay higher tax to pay for the millionaires. This Government is now known as the worst in history. It is even 10 times worse than Labour. A lot of us voted for the tories but Cameron has reduced his maifesto by 100% because he backs the LIB DEMS who only have 58 MPs. Today it is estimated that the local elections will wipe out the Lib Dems by 90% and the tories by 75%. So if this happens then we need a new GENERAL ELECTION. Eveyone should vote for UKIP or BNP or INDEPENDANTS
So now it will be 'Weetabix' and 'Weddy Bweck'!
how long before we will be buying chinese weapons and the government is speaking in chinese
To all those saying another British firm sold, if you were going to earn a nice payout from it you'd sell up as quick as I would.
Just another story of the gready men wanting more and more money with out any regard for the people that work below them or there future jobs or the lives they will be ruining. At the end of the day they do not need to sell out a huge chunk to expand over the world they could so easily have done that them self so they can not use that as an excuse to sell out or to hide there quick money makeing tactic. Its the hard working people here in the UK that will feal this the most because i have no doubt that the chines company will build its own production plant close to home were production cost will be a quater of that of the UK production cost and in a year perhaps less the UK production will be stoped.
to true eqinox couldnt agree more
2,000 jobs moving to China !
This is a serial event
Why don't we put the whole damn country up for sale and have done with it? Then we can get on with what matters instead of moaning all the time. Most of this stuff is way beyond the common man (and woman) anyway.
The question from Orange is "What do you think?" my answer is "It's mostly Boll****"
the chinese will take over control of the worlds assets.one by one.its only time.i think a deal with russia will quarantee energy supplys to them.some sort of partership.cheap energy and control will be a major concern for all.china is a major money making machine but being communist i belive they want control of the world in time.crush america then start elsewhere.bit by bit becoming more and morepowerful.guess that will be more british jobs and loss of tax for all of us.the government just dont get it
yea peter doesnt it .....not . Why is it that other countrys want our companies and they can make a profit but we cant. Maybe its those greedy investment ankers again (the banks) looks like in about 20 years or less we wont have anything left which is british owned. Just how many British/English companies are left anyway?not many No I woudnt Ben your thinkg short term.
JUST THINK, YOU CAN GO TO YOUR CHINESE TAKE AWAY AND BUY WEETABIX CHOW MEIN ........
I'm puzzled though. If weetabix is such a successful company why sell it on in the first place. Surely such a success would want to stay british. You know something to be proud of. Unless there is a bit of back handers going on that we don't know about. Can't imagine the royal crest on the box with chopsticks on it.