Golden Wonder has announced ambitious expansion plans following its sale to private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital. Commercial director Paul Monk said the company was looking to move into fresh and ambient food in the UK and on the continent. Golden Wonder is negotiating with 20 different companies within its existing snack market in the search for products to brand as it pushes towards its target to double profits over the next five years. The manufacturer, which makes 35 million packets of crisps and snacks every week, also aims to expand its operations by acquiring smaller companies. Golden Wonder was sold for £156m after extended negotiations in which PepsiCo, owner of Walkers Crisps, is rumoured to been involved until a late stage. Monk said: "It is business as usual. We are delighted with the sale. We now have the ideal scenario for expansion, and are in great shape." Previous owner Legal and General Ventures put its 80% share in the private company on the market six months ago. The sale means it has made more than £100m on its five year investment. The sale will not affect 16,000 Golden Wonder employees based at the two manufacturing plants in Scunthorpe and Corby, and Monk predicted future acquisitions will increase staff numbers. Clive Sharpe, chief executive since 1995, stays at the helm. This autumn Golden Wonder will launch its first product outside bagged snacks since Pot Noodle, now manufactured by Bestfoods, hit the shelves in the 1970s. The childrens' frozen product Wotsits Mealtime Potato Shapes are made by Kitchen Range. {{NEWS }}