British Breakfast Icon Falls to Dallas Dollars

19 November 2003

Weetabix, the British breakfast cereal avidly consumed by generations of sophomoric empire-builders, has fallen to the dollars dangled by Dallas private equity investor Hicks Muse Tate and Furst.

Weetabix, the second largest brand in the sector after Kellogg's, will collect in the region of £642 million ($1.09 billion; €914.34m) from the deal which, claims Weetabix chairman Sir Richard George is "a very good deal for our shareholders and employees".

Hicks Muse is clearly in British kids' food mode, having earlier this month bought Unilever's Ambrosia creamed rice business for an undisclosed sum. Together with Weetabix, it joins the Dallas firm's stable of Britannic brand icons including Branston pickle, Sarson's vinegar, Typhoo tea and Gale's honey.

But one question remains unanswered. When will HMTF sell its brands stable and to whom?

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff