Dorset acquired by ABF

Dorset acquired by ABF

Associated British Foods has confirmed market rumours that the firm struck a deal to acquire the Dorset Cereals brand from Wellness Foods.

The business will be integrated into The Jordans & Ryvita Company, part of ABF's grocery division, a spokesperson for the firm told just-food.

The deal remains subject to regulatory approval and Dorset will continue to operate as part of Wellness Foods until the move is cleared. The spokesperson added that it is "inappropriate" for ABF to comment further until the acquisition closes.

However, the group did reveal that it does not expect to close Dorset's manufacturing operations: "We can confirm that our intention would be to maintain Dorset Cereals' existing manufacturing base in Poundbury, Dorset."

While the company did not detail the purchase price, it is believed that the group paid around GBP50m (US$83.8m) to secure the brand.

Commenting on the rumours, Panmure Gordon analyst Graham Jones told just-food that the Dorset Cereals brand was a good buy for the company.

"I think Dorset is a great brand, with good growth potential and will be an excellent fit with ABF's existing Jordan's brand. I understand sales are circa GBP40m and as such the rumoured price represents a very good price."