China’s Bright Food Group has agreed to sell cereal brand Weetabix to US cereal company Post Holdings for $1.76bn (£1.4bn), a spokesman for the Chinese conglomerate said on Tuesday.
Shanghai-based Bright Foods had boosted sales of the breakfast cereal in China since buying the brand five years ago and said it would continue to work with Post to market the brand in the country, group spokesman Pan Jianjun told the Financial Times.
Post Group’s chief executive and president Rob Vitale said:
We have long admired Weetabix as a leader in cereal and believe it will be a fantastic strategic fit within Post.
Combining together two category leaders continues our strategy of strengthening our portfolio in stable categories and diversifying into new markets, bringing much-loved brands to significantly more customers globally. We are excited about the growth opportunities that this acquisition brings.
Post said that Giles Turrell, Weetabix’s current CEO, would become Weetabix’s first chirman “with responsibility for overseeing the integration of Weetabix into the Post portfolio”.
Sally Abbott, Weetabix’s marketing chief will assume the position of Director of Weetabix UK and Ireland and report to Mr Vitale.
Weetabix’s revenues of £346m in 2015 were 2 per cent lower than in 2012, while its pre-tax profits were down 1 per cent to £94.3m over the same period, according to its accounts.
“[Weetabix's] performance in the Chinese market has been quite good…we will continue to support efforts to increase its market share in China” said Bright Food’s Mr Jianjun.
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