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Baring Private Equity Asia nears 40 percent buy of cereal maker Weetabix – Bloomberg

(Reuters) – Baring Private Equity Asia is nearing deal to buy 40 percent of Weetabix Ltd, the UK’s second-largest branded manufacturer of cereals and cereal bars, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The deal is expected to value Weetabix, whose brands include Alpen, Ready brek, Weetos, Oatibix and Alpen cereal bars, at about 1.28 billion pounds ($1.91 billion), the news service said.

Northamptonshire-based Weetabix is currently 60 percent owned by Bright Food Group Co Ltd [SHMNGA.UL], China’s state-owned food and beverage manufacturer.

The remaining share capital is mostly owned by Lion Capital, which has had a stake in Weetabix since 2004, according to data on Weetabix’s website.

Under the proposed deal, Bright Food will buy Lion Capital’s 40 percent stake in Weetabix and sell it to Baring, a person told Bloomberg.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that Lion was set to sell its stake to Bright Foods, but could not comment further on the plan to sell it on to Baring.

Bright Food and Baring were not immediately available for comment.

The purchase is subject to Chinese regulatory approvals and could still fall apart, another person told Bloomberg.