Philippines-based food group Universal Robina Corp. is looking to expand again, snapping up Malaysian snacks peer Munchy Food Industries.

The deal, announced today (26 November), comes three months after Universal Robina Corp. (URC) sold its assets in Oceania and quit the region, telling Just Food the company would “focus on the higher-growth Asian region, especially ASEAN”.

URC is paying MYR1.93bn (US$454.9m) to buy Munchy Food Industries from private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners. The Malaysian group, set up in 1991, markets a range of snacks, including its flagship Munchy’s biscuits products.

Irwin Lee, the chief executive of URC, said the acquisition would “scale up our Malaysian market position to leadership in the biscuits category”.

He added: “Munchy’s, with its strong brands, talented organisation, and operational excellence, is a great strategic fit with URC. Together, we will be able to further expand the footprint of URC and Munchy’s brands and unlock growth synergies in Malaysia as well as across the ASEAN region.”

Rodney Wong, Munchy’s CEO, also sought to talk up the benefits of the deal. “This move will allow Munchy’s to have access to research and development expertise in multiple categories, enhance market knowledge, route to market, and manufacturing capabilities in countries outside of Malaysia.”