Blog: Katy AskewFurther speculation over Burton's Biscuit Co. bidders

Katy Askew | 11 April 2013

A potential deal likely to make a regular appearance on our pages for some time to come is the possible sale of Burton's Biscuit Co.

It emerged last month the owners of the Jammie Dodgers and Maryland Cookies maker have launched a strategic review of the UK biscuit firm. In a process that could end in a sale of the UK biscuit firm, Apollo Management and CIBC have hired Credit Suisse to help them look at their options for the business, which they have owned since 2009.

One industry insider suggested this process showed the PE owners are essentially testing the water to see exactly how much interest there is in acquiring the business. So, earlier this week, we took a speculative look at the different companies that might throw their name in the hat in our Deal or No Deal column.

But it seems we may have missed a trick. According Stefan Kirk of M&A advisors Glenboden, South Korea's Lotte Confectionery could prove a dark horse should the race to acquire Burton's get off the blocks. Coming from one of SE Asia's best performing economies, Lotte is a power player in the Asian confectionery sector. And, Kirk says, the firm could well be looking to expand in Europe.

"Since their maverick entry into the European market with the acquisition of the Wedel branded confectionery business in Poland a couple of years ago, many in the industry are waiting in anticipation of further acquisitions by Lotte in Europe, who are also in branded biscuits in their home market," Kirk says.

So, could Lotte emerge as the eventual new owner of the iconic UK biscuit business? Well, you'll just have to watch this space. In the meantime, for a more detailed analysis of the companies who could be attracted to Burton's, click here.


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