The company that brings us such epicurean delights as Jammie Dodgers and Wagon Wheels is being put up for sale with a price tag of £350m to take it off the shelf.
The private equity owners of Burton's Biscuit Company, Apollo Global Management and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, have called in Credit Suisse to find a buyer hungry enough to take it off their hands.
Manufacturing sites in South Wales, Edinburgh and Blackpool could be put up for sale as soon as next week, affecting as many as 2,000 workers.
An information memorandum will be sent out early next week, with potential bidders asked to keep schtum for time being, signing non-disclosure agreements.
‘We can confirm that a process for the possible sale of Burton's Biscuit Company will shortly commence,’ said a Burton’s spokesperson.
‘There is no guarantee a sale will take place, and we will provide an update in due course. It is very much business as usual.’
The company had been a part of Primark owner Associated British Foods until 2000, when it was handed over to private equity for the first time. Its current owners took control of Burton’s in 2009 following a rather messy debt-for-equity swap, leaving former owners Duke Street Capital with hefty debts.
At 75 years old, Burton’s has been banging out biscuits since 1935 and is now the second largest biscuit maker in the UK behind McVitie’s.
Burton’s biscuit ranges are the stuff of legend: according to certain sources a mountain of Wagon Wheels was found at KGB headquarters in Moscow when the Soviet Union toppled. Crumbs. We wonder if they were jammy or plain ones?
Meanwhile, Jammie Dodgers, named after Beano character Roger the Dodger, are the favourite snack of Dr Who. MT doesn’t know if that still rings true though, as Thick Of It fans will know, new Dr Who Peter Capaldi is pretty picky...‘no p*ssy biscuits.’