UK breakfast cereal and cereal bar business Jordans is to merge with Associated British Foods’ (ABF’s) Ryvita crispbread and healthy snacks business in a deal announced today.
ABF will have a 62% interest in the combined business with the balance held by the existing shareholders of Jordans. Completion, subject to regulatory clearance, is expected to take place during the third quarter of 2008. The Jordan family will remain fully involved in the business.
ABF acquired a 20% shareholding in Jordans last year. The Jordans brand is based on its use of natural, organic and Conservation Grade ingredients. Its products range from breakfast cereals to cereal bars, muesli and oat porridge.
Jordans has three manufacturing sites and a head office in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire where it employs 350 staff. It had sales of £85M for the year ended February 29. Ryvita has manufacturing sites in Poole, Dorset and Stockport, Greater Manchester.
Some cost savings are predicted following the merger. The complementary technologies used by each business are expected to provide new product opportunities. Sales activities in the convenience and impulse sectors will be developed, while the Jordans’ brands will be more rapidly expanded overseas, said ABF.
Chairman of Jordans Bill Jordan said: “Jordans and Ryvita have built strong reputations for milling wholegrain cereals and it seems very natural to us that we should form a partnership that draws on these links.”
ABF chief executive George Weston added: “We are creating a strong new business and I look forward to the further development of both the Jordans and Ryvita brands.”
ABF has global sales of £6.8bn and 85,000 employees. It operates in 44 countries with significant businesses outside Europe in Southern Africa, the US, China and Australia.