Post Holdings-owned UK-based breakfast cereal maker Weetabix has acquired Lacka Foods, the producer of the UFit brand of protein shakes.
The price paid for Lacka Foods, founded in 2012 by managing director Austin Bailey, was not disclosed by Weetabix.
Privately-owned Lacka Foods, located in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, north of London, manufactures high-protein and fibre shakes fortified with vitamins and minerals, including UFit 50 and lower-calorie UFit Lite. The range also has a vegan, plant-based option made with pea protein and coconut milk.
US-based Post acquired Weetabix for GBP1.4bn (then US$1.8bn) in 2017 from Chinese state-backed majority shareholder Bright Food Group and an investment fund advised by Baring Private Equity Asia.
Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire-based Weetabix said in a statement: “The all-cash deal, backed by Post Holdings, unites two of the UK’s market-leading food and drink businesses and unlocks growth opportunities for Lacka Foods both in the UK and in international markets.”
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Post-transaction, Lacka Foods will operate as an independent company and the current management team will remain in place.
Bailey added: “Securing investment from a like-minded British business and family favourite such as Weetabix is a transformational step in the Lacka Foods story and will help accelerate our pace of growth in a rapidly expanding category both here in the UK and internationally.”
The UFit range, which also includes on-the-go protein snacks Crunchers, is sold into UK retailers.
Weetabix also has its own high fibre, protein drinks – Weetabix On the Go, while Post Holdings supplies its Premier Protein line of shakes and powders in the US.