Italian confectionery giant swoops for second Fylde biscuit maker

Blackpool's Burtons Biscuits factory is to be sold, to a company which recently bought a rival Lancashire brand.

By Tim Gavell
Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 11:25 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st June 2021, 11:26 am

A deal to buy the Burtons group has been agreed by its owners with a group of companies linked to the Ferrero Roche brand.

CTH, a holding company based in Belgium and affiliated to the Ferrero family from Italy which have brands such as Ferrero Roche, Nutella, Thorntons and Kinder, is to take over Burtons from the investment company Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan which currently owns it.

Last October CTH bought Fox's Biscuits, which has a factory near Kirkham. It is run by Giovanni Ferrero, son of billionaire Michele Ferrero part of the richest family in Italy. CTH is expanding its share in the biscuits sector across the world.

The Blackpool Burtons factory in Mansfield Road

Burton’s employs approximately 2,000 across six manufacturing locations in the UK and generated sales of more than £275m during the past 12 months.

It produces some of the best-known brands in the UK biscuit market including Maryland Cookies, Jammie Dodgers, Wagon Wheels, Paterson’s and Thomas Fudge’s. The business has a history in the British biscuit market dating back to 1935, with a very strong heritage and brand awareness.

A spokesman said there were no immediate plans for change at the Layton site and added: "The Ferrero-related company plans to maintain and further build Burton’s Biscuits strong brand authenticity, while supporting the company with distribution and expansion to new markets and with new category segment opportunities."

As part of the transaction, CTH will take over the six production facilities in United Kingdom, including Mansfield Road in Blackpool as well as in Dorset, Edinburgh, Livingston, Llantarnam and Isle of Arran.

Maryland Cookies being made by Burtons in Blackpool

Through this acquisition, it said it expects to enlarge the offer of products in the sweet biscuits market, further to the previous acquisitions of Biscuits Delacre, Kelsen Group and Fox’s which has a factory near Kirkham.

Ontario Teachers’ acquired St Albans-based Burton’s in 2013 and has helped grow the business through continued investment across the branded, retailer brand and third-party global brand portfolios, in addition to organic initiatives and bolt-on acquisitions.

It is believed to have put feelers out in February for a sale of Burtons, with experts valuing it at the time at around £360m.

Davis Polk and Wardwell, LMS Legal LLP (competition law advisors) and Houlihan Lokey served as legal and financial advisors to the Ferrero-related Company.

Kirkland and Ellis and Stamford Partners served as legal and financial advisors to Ontario Teachers’.

See also: Lancashire biscuit maker Fox's to be sold to Italian confectionery giantBlackpool Gazette: Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking here