Crunch time for Fox's Biscuits after takeover approach

Vinnie the Panda Image copyright Fox's Biscuits

Fox's Biscuits could be snapped up by a mystery buyer, following confirmation that it is the target of a £350m takeover approach.

The brand was acquired by present owner Ranjit Boparan in 2011 when he bought Northern Foods.

Mr Boparan, who is known as the "chicken king", last year bought the Bernard Matthews poultry business.

Boparan Holdings said that at this stage there was "no certainty" that a sale of Fox's would go ahead.

In a statement to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange the company said it had "received a preliminary approach for Fox's Biscuits (the trading name of Northern Foods Grocery Group Limited).

"The group's expectation is that any formal offer for Fox's Biscuits/NFGG would be at a valuation in the region of £350m," it added.

The company did not name the potential buyer.

There was speculation last year that Burton's Foods, owned by Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, was interested in buying Fox's Biscuits.

Boparan Holdings paid £342m for Northern Foods. The acquisition also included Goodfella's Pizzas, which is not part of the new takeover offer.

The holding company also has a restaurant business which includes Harry Ramsden's, Ed's Easy Diner and Giraffe.

Fox's Biscuits was established in 1853 and now employs 2,000 people at three sites in West Yorkshire, Staffordshire and Lancashire. As well as Fox's it also produces own label biscuits for supermarkets.

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