Fox’s biscuits owners agree £246 million partial sale to Ferrero
The UK-based 2 Sisters Food Group has agreed a partial sale of the company’s long-established Fox’s Biscuits business to the Ferrero Group in a deal valued at £246m, writes Neill Barston.
Reports had circulated about the potential deal in recent days, with the Italian-founded confectionery firm known to have been actively seeking to expand upon its existing product portfolio.
Under the terms of the move, Ferrero acquires Fox’s biscuit manufacturing sites at Batley and Kirkham, the sites which primarily produce biscuits sold under the Fox’s brand. However, 2 Sisters, which has a broad range of food-based product ranges spanning frozen poultry and pizza through to cookies, will retain a further site at Uttoxeter, from which it produces own-label biscuits for major retailers.
Fox’s Biscuits is regarded as one of Britain’s most widely known heritage biscuit brands, producing classic ranges including Rocky Bars, Party Rings, Crunch Creams, Crinkle Creams, Chocolatey and Viennese, as well as making own-label biscuits and selection boxes for major retail outlets.
The deal, which will be completed this month, reportedly makes Ferrero Group the second largest chocolate and confectionery business in the worldwide sweet biscuit market, having made another similar acquisition in Europe earlier this year.
Ranjit Singh, President of Boparan Holdings Ltd, said: “Fox’s Biscuits has always been an attractive brand and as one of only two major independent biscuit makers in the UK, it is a prized asset in this market.
“We have listened to many interested parties over the years, but we have always been clear that Fox’s would only be sold to the right new home, at the right time and for the right value. This sale represents another significant deal for us, underlining our commitment to our business turnaround.
“It strengthens our balance sheet even further and shows we are following through with our promises to focus on our key strengths. I wish all colleagues at the two Fox’s Biscuits sites every future success with an ambitious new owner.”
Ronald Kers, CEO of Boparan Holdings Ltd, said: “This sale is in line with our strategy and is further good news as we build on two years of strong turnaround momentum and continue to focus on our core business. It strengthens our liquidity position and reduces our leverage ahead of our planned refinance of the business.
“We believe the sale to Ferrero is not only beneficial for 2 Sisters Food Group, but it means a positive future for the Fox’s brand with an owner who has a compatible culture and a global reputation for high-quality branded chocolate and biscuit products.”