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March 17, 2008

UK: Dorset Cereals sold to Wellness Foods

Dorset Cereals, the UK cereal maker, has been bought by Wellness Foods, a health food group backed by horseracing tycoons JP McManus and John Magnier.

Dorset Cereals, the UK cereal maker, has been bought by Wellness Foods, a health food group backed by horseracing tycoons JP McManus and John Magnier.

Previously owned by Langholm Capital, who funded a management buy-in in April 2005, Dorset Cereals was reportedly bought for GBP50m ($101m).

The company, however, declined to comment on the price paid for Dorset Cereals.

Describing its product as “honest, tasty and real”, Dorset Cereals was rebranded under Langholm’s ownership. It recently built a packaging plant to present its products in more upmarket packaging.

Philip O’Connor, chief executive of Wellness Foods, said: “The team at Dorset Cereals led by Peter Farquhar has developed a highly successful business focused on premium, natural foods that taste great. We share their vision of delivering honest, tasty and real healthy food.  We are delighted that the entire senior management team will be staying with the business.”

Wellness Foods has made a number of acquisitions in the natural, healthy and organic foods sectors, including Rowse Honey (honey), fruit snacks maker Stream Foods fresh fruit products group Orchard House Foods.

The Wellness Foods businesses, including Dorset Cereals, projects sales in excess of GBP220m this year and by 2011 has a vision to build a business with sales of GBP500m.

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