2 SISTERS has said it will sell part of its Fox Biscuits business to a company related to Ferrero, the Italian chocolate and confectionary giant.
Ferrero will acquire Fox’s biscuit manufacturing facilities at Batley and Kirkham, the sites which primarily produce biscuits sold under the Fox’s brand in a deal worth £246m.
See also: Jansen Poultry Equipment bought by VDL Group
2 Sisters will retain the third site at Uttoxeter which produces own-label biscuits for major retailers.
It acquired Fox Biscuits in 2011 as part of the purchase of Northern Foods for £342m but has been exploring a sale of the brand for some time, as it moves to focus on its core poultry business.
Ranjit Singh, president of Boparan Holdings, said: “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.
“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.”
Ronald Kers, CEO of Boparan Holdings, added: “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.
“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.”
The formal completion of the sale is expected on 31 October 2020.