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February 27, 2004

AUSTRALIA: Paradise Food buys George Weston biscuit brands

Australia's Paradise Food is expected to finalise a deal this week to buy most of the biscuit brands of UK-owned George Weston Foods.

Australia’s Paradise Food is expected to finalise a deal this week to buy most of the biscuit brands of UK-owned George Weston Foods.

According to Paradise Food’s marketing manager, Kirsty Marshall, the deal will give the Queensland-based company about a 14% share of the Australian biscuit market, reported the Australian Associated Press.

Marhsall said Paradise had acquired all Weston’s biscuit brands except Wagon Wheels, Chocolate Wheaten and Quatro, which were sold to Arnott’s last year, and Ryvita and Crackerbread, which will continue to be sold by George Weston.

To begin with, the new Paradise brands will continue to be sold using the Weston’s brand and packaging, but a new identity will be adopted sometime in 2005, Marshall said.

George Weston Foods, a wholly owned subsidiary of Associated British Foods, said in August it had agreed to sell three chocolate biscuit brands to Arnott’s as a result of a review that showed its biscuit business was not viable. The company said at the time that the future of its other biscuit brands was still under review.

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