It received a “preliminary approach” for the maker of Fox’s Party Rings, it said. Burton’s Biscuits was believed to be the mystery bidder, analysts said.
The food giant has put a £350M valuation tag on the biscuit business, should it receive a formal offer.
‘Valued in the region of £350M’
In a statement to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, Boparan Holdings said: “Boparan Holdings announces today that it has received a preliminary approach for Fox’s. The group’s expectation is that any formal offer for Fox’s Biscuits would be at a valuation in the region of £350M.”
Boparan Holdings was reportedly in negotiations last year with Burton’s Biscuits’ owner, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, over a potential sale of Fox’s Biscuits. The deal fell through after a price wasn’t agreed. But, Burton’s Biscuits may be the mystery bidder once more, an industry insider told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
“I assume it is Burton’s”, the source said. “Burton’s and Fox’s Biscuits have been in a dialogue for many years, dating back to when Fox’s was part of Northern Foods.
‘Obvious substantial synergies’
“There are obvious substantial synergies in putting two large UK biscuits companies together and there should be very significant cost savings by merging key functions. There would need to be, to justify the reported offer price, which is in line with Boparan’s reported valuation.”
A Burton’s Biscuits spokeswoman told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We never comment on speculation of this nature.”
Boparan Holdings said it was preparing for “one of our toughest years” last month, after reporting an 11.9% rise in operating profit to £19.8M in the 13 weeks to October 29. Fox’s Biscuits drove a 30% operating profit boost in Boparan Holdings’ Branded division, to £10.4M, it said.
Fox’s Biscuits potential takeover – at a glance
- Owner Boparan Holdings said it had received preliminary offer for biscuit firm
- Boparan valued potential bid at about £350M
- Mystery bidder believed to be Burton’s Biscuits’ owner