The deal would create a company valued at £400M with a 20% market share, making it the second largest sweet biscuit manufacturer in the UK. McVitie’s owner United Biscuits is the current leader in the market.
News of the reported merger came as 2 Sisters Food Group owner Ranjit Boparan faced further investigations by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), after allegations of food safety breaches at its West Bromwich plant.
A merger of Fox’s Biscuits and Burton’s Biscuits could lead to an accelerated initial public offering of the enlarged biscuit business on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Likely chief executive of the new merged business
Clive Sharpe, First Milk chairman and former ceo of snack manufacturer Golden Wonder, has been identified as the likely chief executive of the new merged business, claimed the broadcaster. Investment bank Cenkos was said to be in charge of floating the business on the LSE.
A Burton’s Biscuit spokesperson told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We never comment on speculation of this nature.” This website has contacted Boparan Holdings for a comment.
Last Year, Burton’s Biscuits was believed to have approached Boparan Holdings over a potential sale of Fox’s, an industry insider told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
The two companies have been in talks for “many years”, said the source. The deal was believed to have collapsed after Boparan Holdings refused to accept an offer below £350M.
In talks for ‘many years’
News of the merger followed allegations last week of food safety breaches at a 2 Sisters Factory in West Bromwich.
Operations at the plant were suspended, after an undercover joint investigation by The Guardian and ITV News claimed chicken returned by supermarket distribution centres was being repackaged and returned to retailers.
The FSA is to extend its probe into 2 Sisters’ poultry plants in England and Wales, after its initial inspection revealed “issues requiring management attention”.
However, it said an initial investigation had failed to identify food safety concerns at the West Bromich plant.
Meanwhile, read the Sky News report here.