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Speculation over 2 Sisters’ potential sale of Fox’s

Alice Foster

By Alice Foster+

06-Jan-2016
Last updated on 06-Jan-2016 at 12:05 GMT2016-01-06T12:05:28Z

2 Sisters Food Group remains quiet on suggestions it is looking for a buyer for Fox’s Biscuits
2 Sisters Food Group remains quiet on suggestions it is looking for a buyer for Fox’s Biscuits

Renewed speculation suggests that Boparan Holdings – the parent company of 2 Sisters Food Group – could be looking to sell Fox’s Biscuits.

Similar rumours have cropped up over the years because the branded biscuit division differs from 2 Sisters’ core businesses of poultry and ready meals.

Investment bank Rothschild has reached out to potential buyers on behalf of Boparan Holdings, according to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal.

Limited number of buyers

FoodManufacture.co.uk understands that bankers have sounded out a limited number of buyers, but there was no widespread search for potential buyers.

2 Sisters bought Fox’s Biscuits – known for Crunch Creams, Party Rings and assortment tins – as part of its acquisition of Northern Foods in 2011.

In 2014, news reports claimed that the owners of Burton’s Biscuit Company had made a preliminary approach to 2 Sisters over buying Fox’s Biscuits.

‘Outside the comfort zone’

“The branded business 2 Sisters acquired is not necessarily core and is outside the comfort zone of the group,” one analyst told FoodManufacture.co.uk at the time.

“If they were going to sell anything, selling Fox’s would make sense.”

Fox’s Biscuits appears to be performing well at present and 2 Sisters’ branded division saw like-for-like sales up 0.2% to £101.3M in the 13 weeks to October 31 2015.

Last month the company said: Our investments in quality and marketing at Fox’s Biscuits have helped us deliver a strong performance in biscuits, despite a competitive environment, with sales up substantially over the quarter.”

A 2 Sisters spokesman said the company did not comment on speculation or market rumours. Rothschild also declined to comment.

Fox’s Biscuits – at a glance
  • Established in 1853 by the Fox family
  • Employs more than 3,000 people
  • Sites in Batley, Kirkham and Uttoxeter
  • Biscuits include Rocky, Echo, Crunch Creams and Party Rings