UK – 2 Sisters Food Group has confirmed that it has sold part of Fox’s Biscuits to a Ferrero-related company in a £246 million (US$315.78m) deal.

Under the deal, the Ferrero-related company will acquire the Fox’s manufacturing sites at Batley and Kirkham in UK, which primarily produce biscuits sold under the Fox’s brand. Meanwhile, 2 Sisters will retain the third site at Uttoxeter, which produces own-label biscuits for major retailers.

Fox’s Biscuits is a major player in the biscuit sector, making household names such as Rocky Bars, Party Rings, Crunch Creams, Crinkle Creams, Chocolatey and Viennese. It also makes own-label biscuits and selection boxes for major retail outlets.

The formal completion of the transaction, which marks the second European biscuit acquisition in 12 months by a Ferrero-related company, is expected on 31 October 2020.

“This sale represents another significant deal for us, underlining our commitment to our business turnaround.”

Ranjit Singh – president, Boparan Holdings

“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,” Ranjit Singh, president of 2 Sisters parent company, Boparan Holdings, said.

“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.”

In recent years, several businesses have set their sights on acquiring Fox’s Biscuits, as 2 Sisters continued to streamline its core operations to improve performance. In October 2019, it announced the sale of Christmas pudding manufacturer Matthew Walker to Valeo Food group.

Last year, 2 Sisters offloaded its Green Isle Brands frozen food business in an effort to strengthen its balance sheet.

“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,” Ronald Kers, chief executive of Boparan Holdings Ltd, said.

“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.”

Private equity firm Towerbrook reportedly looked into purchasing Fox’s in September 2019. The company had also made moves to acquire Biscuit International in order to merge the two companies into a new European biscuit business.

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