Food manufacturers 2 Sisters Food Group has agreed to sell part of its Fox’s Biscuits business to a Ferrero-related company in a deal worth £246m.
The Ferrero-related company will acquire Fox’s biscuit manufacturing sites at Batley in West Yorkshire, and Kirkham in Preston – the sites which primarily produce biscuits sold under the Fox’s brand.
But as part of the deal, Birmingham-based 2 Sisters will retain the third site at Uttoxeter, in Staffordshire, which produces own-label biscuits for major retailers.
Fox’s Biscuits is best-known for manufacturing household names such as Rocky Bars, Party Rings, Crunch Creams, Crinkle Creams, Chocolatey and Viennese.
Ferrero Group is the world’s third largest chocolate and confectionery business.
The purchase of Fox’s will be the second European biscuit acquisition within 12 months by a Ferrero-related company.
Ranjit Singh, President of 2 Sisters’ parent company Boparan Holdings Ltd, said: “Fox’s Biscuits has always been an attractive brand and as one of only two major independent biscuit makers in the UK, it is a prized asset in this market.
“We have listened to many interested parties over the years, but we have always been clear that Fox’s would only be sold to the right new home, at the right time and for the right value. This sale represents another significant deal for us, underlining our commitment to our business turnaround.
“It strengthens our balance sheet even further and shows we are following through with our promises to focus on our key strengths. I wish all colleagues at the two Fox’s Biscuits sites every future success with an ambitious new owner.”
Ronald Kers, CEO of Boparan Holdings Ltd, added: “This sale is in line with our strategy and is further good news as we build on two years of strong turnaround momentum and continue to focus on our core business. It strengthens our liquidity position and reduces our leverage ahead of our planned refinance of the business.
“We believe the sale to Ferrero is not only beneficial for 2 Sisters Food Group, but it means a positive future for the Fox’s brand with an owner who has a compatible culture and a global reputation for high-quality branded chocolate and biscuit products.”
The formal completion of the sale is expected on October 31, 2020.