Mystery suitor makes move to acquire Fox’s Biscuits from 2 Sisters

An unnamed business has made an approach to acquire Fox’s Biscuits.

Boparan Holdings – the holding company of 2 Sisters Food Group – has issued a notice to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange that it has received a preliminary approach for Fox’s.

The biscuit supplier, which was founded about 160 years ago, operates three manufacturing sites: Batley, West Yorkshire; Kirkham, near Blackpool; and Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. The business produces biscuits under brands including Fox’s and Rocky, in addition to own-label products.

Boparan said it expected a formal offer for Fox’s (the trading name of Northern Foods Grocery Group) would be in the region of £350m.

The company added that, at this stage, “there is no certainty any transaction will proceed”.

Last month, in 2 Sisters Foods Group’s results for the first quarter of 2016/17, chief executive Ranjit Singh said further overhead restructures and capital investments were being used to drive efficiencies in the Fox’s business.

He added that, across the group, “we expect strong headwinds in 2017 and the business is taking action now to prepare for these challenges”.

“The market remains very difficult following the uncertainties around the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Currency-driven inflation and the price-pressured retail grocery market will make next year one of our toughest.”

Around a year ago, Burton’s Biscuits was reported to be in the early stages of talks to buy Fox’s Biscuits from Boparan Holdings.

Burton’s recently sold the licence to produce Cadbury biscuits to Cadbury brand owner Mondelēz International, a deal reported to be in the region of £200m.

A Burton's Biscuit Company spokesperson said: "We never comment on speculation of this nature."

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