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Ferrero close to swallowing Fox’s Biscuits in £250m deal

Written by on 05/10/2020

Ferrero Group, the owner of some of the world’s best-known confectionery brands, is close to striking a £250m deal to swallow Britain’s Fox’s Biscuits.

Sky News has learnt that Ferrero, which counts Kinder chocolate and Nutella among its flagship products, could unveil the takeover later this week.

Sources close to the talks said a deal was expected to involve only the branded biscuits business that accounts for the majority of Fox’s sales.

Nutella
Image: Nutella is among Ferrero’s products

The biscuit manufacturer also has a substantial own-label operation.

Roughly 1500 Fox’s employees are expected to transfer to the new owner.

If completed, the transaction would represent Ferrero’s second substantial foray into the European biscuit market, following its takeover of Denmark’s Kelsen Group last year.

Ferrero’s biggest British takeover to date was the £112m purchase of Thorntons, the high street chocolatier, in 2015.

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Insiders said that Ferrero, a family-controlled dynasty, had seen off competition for Fox’s from rivals including Burton’s Biscuits, which owns Jammie Dodgers, and Biscuit International, a European manufacturer of private-label products.

The Italian group is being advised by Houlihan Lokey on the deal, with Fox’s current owner, 2 Sisters Food Group, advised by bankers at Rothschild.

Burton's Biscuits make products including Jammie Dodgers, Wagon Wheels and Maryland cookies
Image: Ferrero faced competition for the deal from Jammie Dodgers owner Burton’s Biscuits

The deal would see Ferrero becoming a substantial player in Britain’s biscuit market – which has seen a surge in sales this year as a result of the coronavirus outbreak – alongside Pladis and Burton’s.

The UK-wide lockdown and sharp increase in the number of Britons working from home have triggered a spike in demand for biscuits, even as long-term consumption trends show consumers switching to healthier snacking products.

 Sky News

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