Chinese firm could buy Weetabix

WEETABIX could be sold for about £1 billion to a Chinese state-backed food company, according to national media reports.

The Sunday Times has reported that Shanghai firm Bright Food has been in talks with Lion Capital, Weetabix’s private equity owner, for several weeks.

Weetabix dates back to 1932 and was family owned until it was bought by Texan private equity firm, Hicks Muse Tate & Furst, in 2004 for £642 million.

It is thought Bright Food has placed a value of around £1 billion on the Northamptonshire-based business.

The firm, which has plants in Burton Latimer and Corby, employs 2,000 people and generates annual sales of £423 million.

Earlier this year the company said it was investing £20m in improving production facilities at its British and North American plants, after a trial saw production at its county plant rise by a quarter.