Burton’s Biscuit Co. is reportedly closing in on a GBP330m (US$467.8m) takeover of Boparan Holdings-owned biscuit brand Fox’s in a deal that could see the company sell off its Cadbury licence.
According to Sky News, Burton’s is “on the verge” of entering exclusive talks over Fox’s with Boparan’s food business, 2 Sisters Food Group. If the negotiations result in a deal, Burton’s would then likely auction its Cadbury licence, Sky News said citing unnamed “insiders”.
Burton’s is majority owned by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. When OTPP took control of Burton’s in 2013, the group signalled its willingness to expand the UK biscuit maker via M&A. The firm missed out on acquiring United Biscuits last year, when the UK’s largest biscuit maker was sold to Turkey’s Yildiz Holding.
United Biscuits is the largest player in the UK biscuit sector. However, if Burton’s were to acquire Fox’s it would strengthen its position as the second-largest biscuit maker in the market.
2 Sisters declined to comment and just-food was unable to contact Burton’s at time of press.
Burton’s was linked to a possible sale of Fox’s earlier this year when the group was said to be in “early stage” discussions with 2 Sisters. This is not the first time the firm has been linked to Fox’s, however. In May 2014, the companies were rumoured to be in talks over the sale of Fox’s but the discussions apparently fell through.