UK cereal brand Weetabix is being acquired by the consumer packaged goods holding company Post Holdings front Shanghai’s Bright Good Group for £1.4 billion.
Weetabix primarily produces ready-to-eat (RTE) cereal products spanning branded and private label. Founded in 1932, it holds the number two overall position in the UK RTE cereal category. Its portfolio includes the iconic Weetabix brand, which holds the number one brand position in the UK RTE cereal category, as well as Alpen, Barbara’s, Weetos and Ready Brek.
In North America, Weetabix operates a leading natural and organic RTE cereal and snacking platform in both branded and private label, led by the Barbara’s brand and the Puffins sub-brand and serving leading natural and specialty channel and conventional retailers.
Additionally, Weetabix has an established and extensive international presence, with operations in Africa through two joint ventures and a distribution export business to over 90 countries. Post has agreed in principle to establish a joint venture with Bright Food Group and an investment fund advised by Baring Private Equity Asia to manage the Weetabix China operations.
“We have long admired Weetabix as a leader in cereal and believe it will be a fantastic strategic fit within Post,” said Rob Vitale, Post’s President and CEO. “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.”
The combination of Post and Weetabix creates a diversified international food company with substantial free cash flow generation, enabling Post to fund growth over the long-term, including international cross-selling opportunities through expansion of Post products in select international markets and further expansion of Weetabix and Barbara’s in North America.
At the closing of the transaction, Sally Abbott, Weetabix’s Director of Marketing, will become Managing Director of Weetabix UK and Ireland and report to Rob Vitale.
Giles Turrell, Weetabix’s current CEO, will assume the newly created role of Chairman of Weetabix with responsibility for overseeing the integration of Weetabix into the Post portfolio.
The other members of Weetabix’s existing management team will continue to lead the organisation.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the third calendar quarter, subject to the satisfaction of limited closing conditions.