Unite regional officer Sally Mortimer said: “We will be seeking an urgent meeting with the new owner to seek assurances on job security and to ascertain the business plan going forward.
“We want to work constructively with the new management team to ensure the success of the iconic Weetabix brand, and to safeguard the future employment for our hardworking and dedicated members.”
The union represents 110 workers at Weetabix’s sites in Burton Latimer and Corby, Northamptonshire, including engineering and technical staff.
Weetabix confirmed that it would be sold by its Chinese owner Bright Food Group to Post Holdings yesterday (April 18). The Northamptonshire-based manufacturer welcomed the news, claiming that the deal would open doors to future expansion.
The manufacturer’s ceo Giles Turrell said: “Today’s deal is great news for the team at Weetabix and all those who love our brands. The past five years have seen us increase our branded sales at home and overseas.
“Post Holdings is a leader within its markets, and shares our commitment to providing great tasting nutritious products for the whole family. I’m confident they will help us open doors for continued expansion.”
It was believed that Bright Food sold Weetabix because it failed to break into the Chinese market. The Chinese food group bought Weetabix for £1.2bn in 2012, in what was the largest overseas takeover by a Chinese company at the time.
A good deal for Bright Food
Meanwhile, an industry expert told FoodManufacture.co.uk that the £1.4bn price tag was a good deal for Bright Food.
“Looks like a big price but opportunities in the breakfast cereals market for players like Post Holdings, who are committed to that sector, are few and far between so they had to pay what it took to get it in an auction,” the expert said.
“There is still a lot of money out there looking for a home and the UK is a very attractive market with the best retailers in the world and a heavily concentrated population.”
Weetabix sold to Post Holdings – at a glance
- Union calls for job reassurances
- Represents 110 Weetabix workers
- Bright Food sells Weetabix for £1.4bn