The Bright side of Weetabix takeover

British cereal favourite Weetabix is to come under Chinese ownership after a deal involving the Asian country’s biggest overseas food takeover.

Shanghai firm Bright Food will take a majority 60 per cent share of the Weetabix Food Company, placing a £1.2bn value on the cereal giant, while current private equity owner Lion Capital will retain a 40 per cent stake.

Northampton-based Weetabix, which also owns Alpen and Ready Brek, was founded in 1932 and was family owned until 2004 when it was bought by a Texan private equity firm.

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State-backed Bright Food, which generated revenues of around £7.5bn last year, is looking to take advantage of China’s “growing appetite” for healthy foods and to drive Weetabix’s growth across Asia.

Zongnan Wang, Bright Food chairman, said: “With Bright Food’s strong resources and our expertise in both the Chinese and broader international markets, we are excellently placed to develop the Weetabix business.”

Weetabix Food Company, the UK’s second biggest cereal manufacturer, exports to more than 80 countries and employs nearly 2,000 people. Picture: Bruce Rollinson