Cereals business Jordans is to merge with Associated British Foods' Ryvita business.

Associated British Foods, which took a 20% stake in Jordans last year, will have a 62% interest in the combined business, with the balance held by the existing shareholders of Jordans.

The combination of Jordans and Ryvita would create a leading position for the supply of products to meet the increasing consumer demand for natural ingredients and healthy eating, Associated British Foods said in a statement.

“I am delighted that the relationship built with the Jordan family over the last year has enabled the merging of these two fine businesses,” said ABF CEO George Weston. “We are creating a strong new business and I look forward to the further development of both the Jordans and Ryvita brands.”

Added Bill Jordan, chairman of Jordans: “Jordans and Ryvita have built strong reputations for milling wholegrain cereals and it seems very natural to us that we should form a partnership that draws on these links. This new partnership gives us scale and the ability to share our beliefs, in the benefits of natural foods and protecting the countryside, with even more people.”