Jordans, the cereal company, said it chose to merge with Ryvita because of the family values of its owner Associated British Foods (ABF).

The two brands combined this week in a cashless deal that gave ABF 62% ownership of the new venture, with existing Jordans shareholders holding the balance.

ABF claims overseas sales of the cereal manufacturer will benefit from its international presence, but it has emerged that family ties were at the centre of negotiations. The Jordan family forged links with the owners of ABF, the Weston family, after it sold them a 20% stake in the company for £15m last September. "The strong family input in ABF and Jordans was clearly a factor in our decision, and ABF also guarantees us a degree of autonomy," said Jordans chairman Bill Jordan.

Simon Peacock, head of mergers at Catalyst Corporate Finance, said: " ABF plays the long game and doesn't demand quick returns, but it will want total control of Jordans."