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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 November, 2003, 22:55 GMT
US buyout firm snaps up Weetabix
Weetabix mini crunch
Weetabix: A firm breakfast favourite
A US private equity group looks set to buy Weetabix, the maker of the iconic British breakfast cereal.

Hicks Muse Tate & Furst said the board of Weetabix had agreed to a 642m cash offer tabled by its bid vehicle, Latimer Acquisitions.

The US firm already owns a range of British food brands including Branston pickle, Gales honey, and Typhoo tea.

It said the Weetabix deal was a major step towards its goal of creating a stock market-listed British food group.

"We are delighted at the opportunity to acquire Weetabix," said Hicks Muse partner Lyndon Lea.

Meal deal

"We are keen to support the continued development of these iconic brands, respecting their heritage, and enabling Weetabix and its employees to thrive under our ownership."

Weetabix Chairman Sir Richard George said the Hicks Muse offer was " a very good deal for our shareholders and employees."

Hicks Muse specialises in buying and developing firms with strong growth potential before selling them on at a profit.

Apart from its food investments, the firm is best known in the UK for buying BT's directories business, Yell, which was floated on the stock market in July this year.

Weetabix's oblong bricks of wheat have been a firm breakfast favourite in Britain since their introduction in the 1930s.

The Northamptonshire-based company, which also makes Alpen, Ready Brek and Weetos, ranks as the UK's most valuable breakfast cereal brand, and is second only to Kellogg's in terms of market share.




SEE ALSO:
Plans to expand cereal factory
19 Jun 03  |  Northamptonshire


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