Weetabix remains the UK's best-selling breakfast cereal (although it faces stiff competition from Kellogg's Special K). The company's other brands include Alpen muesli and Weetos. Until comparatively recently Weetabix was also one of Britain's largest family-owned companies, guarding its privacy with great care as a defence against the fierce competition which has raged in the cereal market since the late 1980s. In late 2003, the business was acquired by private equity investors. Almost ten years later they agreed to sell the business to China's state-owned Bright Food. However, that deal never really gelled, and in 2017 Bright Food agreend to sell on its shares to US food group Post Holdings for £1.4bn.
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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:
Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Apr 2017: British breakfast icon Weetabix is to swap its current Asian owners for US company Post Holdings. One of the original pioneers in breakfast cereal alongside Kellogg's, Post still owns leading US brand Honey Bunches of Oats as well as Raisin Bran and other cereals. However, it has also been expanding into new sectors in recent years through acquisitions such as PowerBar (from Nestle) and egg and dairy producer Michael Foods. Weetabix is its first major step into the UK. Post is to pay £1.4bn (including debt) to buy out majority shareholder Bright Food of China and its minority partner Baring Private Capital.
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Mar 2017: US group Post Holdings has been tipped as the favourite to acquire the 60% shareholding in UK cereals group Weetabix from current Chinese owner Bright Food. Weetabix is the UK's top-selling breakfast cereal brand, and the second largest producer overall behind Kellogg's. Rival bidders Cereal Partners and Barilla are understood to have withdrawn from the auction. According to reports, one other bidder remains in negotiations, possibly Associated British Foods.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Jan 2017: Chinese company Bright Foods has appointed Goldman Sachs to find a buyer for its controlling stake in Weetabix, the iconic British cereal brand. Although the brand has experienced modest success since its launch in China, now said to be its third largest market, sales in the UK have fallen sharply as a result of the continuing move by consumers away from breakfast cereals. Bright Food acquired a 60% stake in Weetabix in 2012 for £1.2bn. However group sales and profits are both slightly below 2012 levels, suggesting the Chinese company may make a loss on the sale.
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