Weetabix Foods expands product portfolio with acquisition of high-protein shake maker Lacka Foods

UK  –  Post Holdings owned multinational breakfast cereal company Weetabix Food Company has acquired Lacka Foods, owner of the Űfit high-protein shake brand for an undisclosed sum.

Located in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, north of London, Lacka Foods manufactures high-protein and fibre shakes fortified with vitamins and minerals, including UFit 50 and lower-calorie UFit Lite.

 The private-owned company founded in 2012 also has a vegan, plant-based option made with pea protein and coconut milk.

Weetabix also has its own high fibre, protein drinks – Weetabix On the Go, while Post Holdings supplies its Premier Protein line of shakes and powders in the US.

The transaction is expected to create growth opportunities for Lacka Foods both in the UK and in international markets, according to a statement from Weetabix.

Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire-based Weetabix said in a statement: “The all-cash deal, backed by Post Holdings, unites two of the UK’s market-leading food and drink businesses and unlocks growth opportunities for Lacka Foods both in the UK and in international markets.”

Under the terms of the deal, the two companies’ operations will remain separate, with Lacka Foods’ management team continuing to run the business.

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Austin Bailey, founder and managing director of Lacka Foods, said: “Securing investment from Weetabix is a transformational step in the Lacka Foods story, and will help accelerate our pace of growth in a rapidly expanding category both here in the UK and internationally”.

US-based Post Holdings acquired Weetabix for GBP1.4bn (then US$1.8bn) in 2017 from Chinese state-backed majority shareholder Bright Food Group and an investment fund advised by Baring Private Equity Asia.

Earlier in February, Post Holdings reported its results for Q1 2022 where Weetabix recorded net sales of US$118.6 million, an increase of 4.5%, or US$5.1 million, compared to the prior year period.

The company however noted that volumes for its UK cereal business declined 4.4% as growth in new product introductions was offset by declines in all other products.

These declines were driven by lapping increased purchases in the prior year period resulting from increased at-home consumption in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic and customers increasing inventory ahead of the completion of Brexit, according to Post.

Segment profit was US$27.2 million, a decrease of 3.2%, or US$0.9 million, compared to the prior year period while adjusted EBITDA was US$36.1 million, a decrease of 3.2%, or US$1.2 million, compared to the prior year period.

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