Barilla Plots Bid for Weetabix


24 Jan 2017 --- The biggest pasta maker in the world is planning a £1.5bn ($1.9bn) bid for one of the UK’s most popular cereal brands Weetabix. Weetabix, which is the UK’s second biggest cereal brand, has been courted by a number of suitors since its Chinese owner Bright Food put the brand up for sale last year.

Bright Food bought a majority stake in Weetabix nearly five years ago with the aim of transforming breakfast eating habits in China.

Barilla, a 140-year-old Italian family pasta business, is thought to be one of a number of bidders for Weetabix, which also includes the food brands Alpen and Weetos.

Nestlé, PepsiCo and General Mills have also been touted as potential bidders for the Weetabix business, which is based in Northamptonshire, in the UK.

Based in the norther Italian city of Parma, Barilla makes a range of products including pasta sauces and Swedish crisp bread.

The business is headed up by Guido Maria Barilla and his brothers Paolo and Luca, whose great-grandfather set up the business in 1877.

According to its latest finances, it made profits of €440m ($473m) and revenues of €3.3bn ($3.54bn) in 2015.

Bright Food bought its 60 percent stake in Weetabix from Lion Capital. The private equity group held on to the remaining 40 per cent stake before exiting the business in 2016.

Bright Food’s efforts to transform the eating habits of the Chinese was questioned by some, as Chinese consumers usually prefer rice-based breakfast and are not generally eaters of cereal with milk.

Bright Food said at the time of its investment in Weetabix that it was “committed” to a long-term investment in Weetabix.

Related Articles

Packaging & Technology News

KHS launches new wide-neck PET containers as lightweight plastic trend continues

16 Mar 2018 --- German giants of filling and packaging solutions for the food and beverage industry, KHS, have launched a new lightweight, wide-neck PET container suitable for sauce, dressing and dairy products. The company has cited the growing preference for lightweight plastic over glass containers within the food industry as the inspiration behind the new launch.

Packaging & Technology News

Microplastics found in 11 major global bottled water brands

15 Mar 2018 --- Landmark discoveries from New Orb Media have found potentially harmful plastic particles in the water bottles of 11 leading global brands, including Dasani (Coca-Cola), Epura (PepsiCo), Aqua (Danone) and Nestlé Pure Life and San Pellegrino (Nestlé). Exclusive testing was conducted on more than 250 bottles from nine different countries, with 93 percent found to have contained plastic debris the size of the width of a human hair, including polypropylene, nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

Business News

Orkla takes a slice of the stake in Danish pizza chain Gorm's

15 Mar 2018 --- Orkla is making a move into the premium pizza space with an investment in Danish pizza restaurant chain Gorm's. Through the agreement, Orkla will acquire a 67 percent interest in Gorm's, with the opportunity to increase its stake to 100 percent ownership after an agreed period.

Food Ingredients News

Sodium & sugar reduction: Is Mediterranean Umami the answer?

12 Mar 2018 --- Given increased regulatory pressure and consumer demand around the world, sugar reduction has become a hot topic. The recently implemented tax on sugary drinks in the UK, and related widespread formulation changes and new product development, are good examples of the industry response to regulations targeting sugar. However, most food companies have struggled to use only natural solutions to reduce sugar in their products. Salt of the Earth believes its Mediterranean Umami is also effective for sugar reduction. The all-natural, clean-label ingredient for savory flavor enhancement can answer both demands for tasty, clean-label foods with both lower sodium and less sugar, according to the company.

Food Ingredients News

Meet the start-ups: Chobani unveils latest incubator class

12 Mar 2018 --- The producers of the number one Greek yogurt brand in the US, Chobani has unveiled its third incubator class with nine food start-ups including innovative and disruptive companies that are improving food categories. This will be the third class of its kind from Chobani and this time will include companies reimagining baby food, healthier breakfast, better beverage and snack options and more.

More Articles