Jammie Dodger and Wagon Wheel producer generated sales of more than £275m in the last 12 months
Ferrero builds on biscuit arsenal with Burton’s acquisition

Ferrero Group has entered into an agreement to acquire UK brand Burton’s Biscuit Company from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (OTPPB) for an undisclosed sum.

The Italian global confectionary group, expects to expand on Burton’s’ product offering which includes UK biscuit brands Maryland Cookies, Jammie Dodgers, Wagon Wheels, Paterson’s and Thomas Fudge’s.

Burton’s generated sales of more than £275m in the last year.

The deal will enable Ferrero to build on its biscuit armoury which includes Biscuits Delacre, Kelsen Group and Fox’s, the latter of which it acquired for £246m last year.

Ferrero will take over Burton’s’ six production facilities in the UK, based in Blackpool, Dorset, Edinburgh, Livingston, Llantarnam and Isle of Arran.

OTPPB acquired Burton’s in 2013 with the intention of growing the business via continued investment and bolt-on acquisitions.

Davis Polk & Wardwell, LMS Legal LLP (competition law advisors) and Houlihan Lokey served as legal and financial advisors to the Ferrero-related company. 

Kirkland & Ellis and Stamford Partners served as legal and financial advisors to Ontario Teachers’.

Ferrero also acquired snack bar business Eat Natural in December 2020 as the group said it was “an excellent strategic fit” as it diversified into the healthier snacking market segment.

Strengthening UK presence

Speaking to NutritionInvestor, Oghma Partners partner Mark Lynch said of the acquisition: “The acquisition of Burton’s makes sense in terms of strengthening Ferrero’s existing UK operations by combining Burton’s and Fox’s together.

“It provides greater scale, product breadth and potential savings in back office, manufacturing and marketing.

“Burton’s lacked a premium biscuit offer and Fox’s provides that whilst, arguably the Fox’s assets bought by Ferrero lacked value brands like Jammie Dodgers as well as super premium products like those made by Thomas Fudges,” Lynch added.

“For Ferrero they have cemented their UK presence and offer up a stronger competitor to market leader Pladis. In addition, a low interest rate environment make this an attractive time to engage in acquisition opportunities,” Lynch concluded.

Date published: 2 June 2021

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