Your breakfast table now has Chinese owned product. In 2012 the Chinese State-owned company ‘Bright Food’ bought a 60% stake in Weetabix for £780m. The deal valued the company at £1.2bn and was China’s biggest overseas investment to date in the food industry. Weetabix’s other brands include Alpen and Ready Brek. The Northamptonshire-based firm was family-owned until 2004, when it was bought by Lion Capital. Lion Capital will continue to hold the remaining 40% of Weetabix.
Shanghai based ‘Bright Food’ is China’s second-largest food manufacturing company, with sales of say US$20bn.
The reasoning behind the purchase lies in China’s wish to increase its connection with world brands. It also wants access to modern food safety technology. And with an increasing use of dairy products in China, there are good prospects for higher sales of Weetabix’s cereal products in the home market. All is well analysed in this article in the State-Owned on-line newspaper ‘China Daily’ ( Europe version- in English language ) .
Bright Foods now has interests in food products around the world, following recent acquisitions in Australia, Italy and Israel.
The original Weetabix was invented in Australia in the 1920s.
China investment in UK is huge, and growing: