fox's biscuits

2 Sisters owner Boparan has revealed it is locked in talks with an unnamed bidder over a £350m deal for its Fox’s Biscuits business.

Boparan has not named the potential buyer, though media reports have linked it with Burton’s Foods, owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

However, The Grocer understands Burton’s is not the undisclosed bidder. City sources instead suggested that acquisitive Irish group Valeo Foods had held recent discussions over the viability of a bid for Fox’s.

Valeo already has a strong presence in the biscuits market through its ownership of Jacobs Biscuits, which includes the Cream Crackers, J-O’s and Tuc brands.

The group has grown its business through a number of deals in recent years, acquiring Rowse Honey, Robert Roberts, Kelkin and Italian food brand Balconi.

Other major players in the UK biscuit market Pladis and Mondelez are not thought to be actively pursuing Fox’s.

The approach for Fox’s emerged because of recently updated rules on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, where Boparan’s debt is listed, forced the UK food group to release a brief statement announcing a “preliminary approach for Fox’s Biscuits…valuing the division at around £350m”.

The statement added: “The group’s expectation is that any formal offer for Fox’s Biscuits would be at a valuation in the region of £350m,” noting there was no certainty a deal will be done.

Boparan, Burton’s and Valeo Foods declined to comment on the news.