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November 6, 2014

Bright Food “eyes 2016 listings for Weetabix, Manassen”

China's Bright Food Co. is reportedly targeting listings of UK breakfast cereal business Weetabix and Australian food group Manassen Foods in the next two years.

By Dean Best

China’s Bright Food Co. is reportedly targeting listings of UK breakfast cereal business Weetabix and Australian food group Manassen Foods in the next two years.

According to Bloomberg, Bright Food vice president Ge Junjie said today (6 November) the state-backed company is in talks with investment banks about floating parts of the businesses.

“We want to list our foreign core units, this is part of our plans to become an international player and tap the overseas capital markets,” Ge said at a press conference in Shanghai. “We are looking at competitor valuations and the type of investments that the investors in those foreign markets like.”

Bright is looking at Hong Kong listings for both businesses, with London an alternative for Weetabix and the ASX a candidate for Manassen.

The company acquired 60% of Weetabix in 2012 and reports last month said it was looking to take full control of the business. Investors including private-equity firm Lion Capital own the rest of Weetabix.

Bright snapped up 75% of Manassen in 2011. Manassen sells its own brands including dairy products under The Margaret River Dairy Company label. It also distributes products for the likes of Unilever, Associated British Foods and Groupe Bel.

Ge also told reporters in Shanghai Bright is looking for deals in the dairy, sugar and wine sectors.

Bright’s discussions with Glanbia over a possible tie-up are ongoing, Ge said. The two companies said a memorandum of understanding last year to look into possible ways of working together.

A spokesperson for Glanbia, the Ireland-based food group, confirmed the two sides were still in talks but insisted there was “no new news”.

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