Sector News

Fox’s Biscuits owner considering sale

January 4, 2016
Consumer Packaged Goods

Bankers for Fox’s Biscuits owner Boparan Holdings Ltd. are reaching out to potential buyers on behalf of the maker of Golden Crunch, Crunch Creams and Party Rings cookies, according to people familiar with the matter.

Birmingham, U.K.-based Boparan Holdings, the holding company for 2 Sisters Food Group, is owned by Ranjit Singh and his wife Baljinder Boparan. Investment bank Rothschild has been reaching out to potential buyers on behalf of the company, the people said. It could be valued at up to £250 million ($372 million), some of the people said.

No formal process has been started and the considerations are at an early stage, some of the people said.

Fox’s Biscuits is the fourth-largest cookie maker in the U.K., with 3.8% market share, according to industry tracker Euromonitor.

One possible buyer for Fox’s Biscuits could be Burton’s Biscuit Company, the third-largest cookie maker in the U.K. In 2014, Burton’s Biscuits owner Ontario Teachers Pension Plan lost out to Turkish cookie owner Yildiz Holding in an auction to buy United Biscuits Ltd., the maker of Jaffa Cakes and Jacob’s Cream Crackers.

A combination of Burton’s and Fox’s would unite well-known cookie brands in the U.K. and create a more formidable competitor to the leading cookie company, United Biscuits. Fox’s is perhaps most recognized in the U.K. for its cookie selection boxes.

Boparan Holdings has been working to boost sales at Fox’s Biscuits, which has struggled in the face of growing competition. The company has reportedly mulled a sale in the past.

Boparan Holdings owns other bands like frozen fish company Donegal Catch and says it produces a third of all poultry products consumed in the U.K.

By Shayndi Raice

Source: Wall Street Journal

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