Weetabix owner hopes to take a slice of Tnuva

CHINESE group Bright Food yesterday revealed the latest move in its global acquisitions drive, revealing that it is holding talks with Tnuva, Israel’s biggest food manufacturer and distributor, about a possible purchase.

“This has really just got going, and the two sides are in the process of talking and understanding one another,” Bright Food spokesman Pan Jianjun said.

British private equity firm Apax Partners holds a 56 per cent stake in dairy-focused Tnuva, and the potential deal could be worth around 10 billion yuan (£1bn), a Chinese newspaper said.

Bright Food has acquired several foreign firms over the last few years, including New Zealand’s Synlait Milk, Australia’s Manassen Foods and France’s Diva in a bid to expand its global reach.

The Chinese firm also owns a 60 per cent stake in UK-based cereal maker Weetabix Food, which it acquired for £1.2bn in one of the biggest foreign purchases by a Chinese food group.

Bright Food has said it expects its international sales to account for 25 per cent of revenue by 2015, up from 15 per cent now.

Bright Food Group has several listed subsidiaries including Bright Dairy & Food Co Ltd and Shanghai Jinfeng Wine Co Ltd.