Bright Food “in talks” to buy Manassen Foods

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 13th July 2011

Chinese food group Bright Food is reportedly in talks to buy Australian branded food manufacturer and importer Manassen Foods.Manassen Foods sells its own brands – including dairy products under the Margaret River label – and acts as a distributor for products owned by the likes of Arla Foods, Premier Foods plc and Groupe Bel, with a portfolio including Babybel, Laughing Cow, Jelly Belly, Carr’s, McVities, Ryvita, Bovril, Globus, Sharwood’s, Castello Cheese and Lemnos Fetta.

A Reuters report said yesterday (11 July) that Bright Food was in advanced talks with Manassen’s owner Champ Private Equity.

The value of the potential deal is unclear but Reuters said that Food Holdings, the parent company of Manassen Foods, posted EBITDA of A$50.4m (US$53.5m) for the 12 months ended June 2010.

Bright Food has been looking to make acquisitions outside of China. Last year, it acquired a 51% stake in New Zealand dairy firm Synlait Milk.

It was also named in reports as a bidder for 50% of French yoghurt maker Yoplait but the stake that was eventually sold to General Mills.

The Chinese firm failed in a bid to by Australian sugar refiner Sucrogen, while it was talks to buy UK-based manufacturer United Biscuits reportedly foundered.
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