Fox’s Biscuits bid was ‘not made by rival firm’

By Matt Atherton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fox's Biscuits takeover approach was made by a financial institution consortium, it was reported
Fox's Biscuits takeover approach was made by a financial institution consortium, it was reported

Related tags: Fox’s biscuits, Biscuit, Finance, Takeover

The Fox’s Biscuits mystery takeover bid last month was launched by a consortium of City and Wall Street investors, and not a rival biscuit maker, a national news broadcaster has claimed.

A group of financial institutions were behind the takeover bid for Fox’s Biscuits, Sky News​ said this week (February 23). CapVest-owned Valeo Foods were among the “most likely”​ investors, an inside source told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

It came after the Fox’s Biscuits owner – Boparan Holdings – confirmed that an “initial approach”​ had been made for the business. Burton’s Biscuits was “assumed”​ to be the likely bidder, sources said at the time.

‘The most likely party’

An inside source told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “I had heard that the most likely party was the CapVest-owned Valeo Foods, owners of Jacob’s and a number of other well-known food brands.

The fact that financial institutions are rumoured to be involved is not surprising as CapVest would fall into that category and will require significant support funding.”

Boparan Holdings declined to respond to the latest rumours.

Fox’s Biscuits bids – at a glance

  • Financial group said to have bid for Fox’s Biscuits
  • Previously Burton’s Biscuits thought to have bid
  • Fox’s Biscuits owner confirmed bid on January 19

The owner placed a £350M valuation tag on Fox’s Biscuits on January 19, when it confirmed to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange that an approach had been made​ for the biscuit manufacturer.

At the time, Boparan Holdings said in a statement: “Boparan Holdings announces today ​[January 19] 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.”

In talks for ‘many years’

Burton’s Biscuits was believed to have made the approach to Boparan Holdings, after the two firms had been in talks for “many years”​, an inside source told FoodManufacture.co.uk last month. Boparan Holdings was reportedly in talks last year​ with Burton’s Biscuits’ owner, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, over a proposed sale of the biscuit maker.

The source said at the time: “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.”

Burton’s Biscuits did not respond to rumours that it had made the approach for Fox’s Biscuits. A Burton’s spokeswoman told FoodManufacture.co.uk last month that it “never comments on speculation of this nature”​.

What the inside source said about Fox’s Biscuits

“My understanding is that Boparan Holdings would not countenance an offer below £350M so that element rings true.

“I had heard that the most likely party was the CapVest-owned Valeo Foods, owners of Jacob’s and a number of other well-known food brands.

“The fact that financial institutions are rumoured to be involved is not surprising as CapVest would fall into that category and will require significant support funding. It is hard to imagine that the bid would not involve a trade player as there would otherwise be no synergies.

Related topics: Confectionery

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