China Firm 'Ready To Buy' Britain's Weetabix
Weetabix could be bought by a Chinese state-backed food company which has renewed its hunger for British brands.
Shanghai firm Bright Food has been in talks with Lion Capital, Weetabix's private equity owner, for several weeks, according to the Sunday Times.
Weetabix dates back to 1932 and was family owned until it was bought by Texan private equity firm, Hicks, Muse, Tate and Furst in 2004 for £642m.
It is thought Bright Food has placed a value of around £1bn on the Northamptonshire-based business.
The British brand is sold in 80 countries, employs around 2,000 people and generates annual sales of £423m.
In 2010, Weetabix accounted for 7% of the country's total cereal sales with annual revenues in excess of £100m.
Other brands in its portfolio include Alpen, Ready brek and Oatibix.
Bright Food later denied it had plans to buy Weetabix, according to The Grocer.
In 2010, it failed in a £2bn deal to buy United Biscuits, the company behind Hula Hoops and Jaffa Cakes, and it later lost out in a stake of French yoghurt firm Yoplait.
Last year, Bright Foods announced a plan to purchase a 75% stake in Australian bread and chocolate firm Manassen Foods.
Bright Food is China's largest sugar producer and expected to see revenue growth of nearly 20% this year.