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Bright Dairy completes acquisition of British Weetabix

(China Daily)

16:08, November 05, 2012

Bright Dairy & Food Co Ltd completed its acquisition of British food processing company Weetabix Ltd on Nov 2, in the biggest overseas M&A deal for a Chinese company ever.

Bright Dairy paid about 700 million pounds (7 billion yuan) for the deal, which includes a 60 percent stake in Weetabix, and covers part of Weetabix's debt.

Last year, Shanghai-based and State-owned Bright Dairy, one of the largest food companies in China, posted annual sales of 76.9 billion yuan and 2.65 billion yuan of net profit.

Cao Xiaofeng, the chief financial officer of Bright Dairy, said in a recent interview with the Economic Information newspaper that the market value of Weetabix is about 1.2 billion pounds.

The Chinese company will refinance 500 million pounds of the 900 million pounds of Weetabix's debt.

After the acquisition, Bright Dairy will issue bonds in Hong Kong. Bright Hong Kong, which is affiliated to Bright International, will be the issuer.

Weetabix is the second-largest maker of breakfast cereals in the United Kingdom, after Kellogg. It has about 14.5 percent of the UK market share and exports its products to over 80 countries.

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