The UK's second largest biscuit manufacturer, Burton's Foods, has been acquired by British buy-out firm Duke Capital from US group HM Capital Partners for what is believed to be around a £200 million (€292.3m) sum.
Burton's, who own the Jammie Dodgers and Wagon Wheels biscuit brands, had been the subject of a tussle between private equity firms Duke Capital and Lioncourt Capital. Other firms showing an interest in acquiring the biscuit maker in recent months were Irish snack group Jacob Fruitfield and UK bakery giant Northern Foods. The deal, announced today, is the latest in what is rapidly becoming a trend for private ownership in the snack industry. Leading biscuit producer United Biscuits was acquired by a private equity consortium involving Blackstone and PAI at the end of last year while Lion Capital targeted crisp company Kettle in September. Following the change in ownership, Burton's expected to begin broadening its range in order to move into the wider snack arena. The company's chief executive Paul Kitchener said in a statement that the firm was looking to expand into "the broader snacking market."
Burton's hold the licence to produce Cadbury brand cookies and are the UK's second largest branded biscuit supplier with a 15 per cent share of the market according to a report from market analysts Leatherhead International.