Biscuit maker Burton for sale with £350m price tag

BURTON’S Biscuits, behind iconic brands including Jammie Dodgers, Wagon Wheels and Maryland cookies, is up for sale with a price tag of about £350 million.

The move follows a strategic review by the owners of the company, which employs 800 at its Sighthill plant in Edinburgh.

Apollo Global Management and Canadian bank CIBC had appointed Credit Suisse earlier this year to look at options for Burton’s, which had earnings of £27.8m in its last reported financial year.

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Yesterday, the company confirmed that a “process for the possible sale of Burton’s will shortly commence”.

“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,” a spokesman added.

In addition to its own brands, Burton’s makes biscuits for Cadbury, including the Caramel, Crunchie and Turkish Delight ranges. Taken together, Cadbury is Burton’s biggest-selling product category.

Apollo and CIBC took control of the business in 2009 when its previous owner, Duke Street Capital, was forced to hand over the company to the lenders who financed Duke Street’s £220m buy-out of Burton’s in March 2007.

The company, headquartered in St Albans, employs some 2,200 people around the UK at manufacturing sites which also include Blackpool and Llantarnam in Wales.

It also owns a chocolate refinery in Moreton and central distribution hub in Liverpool.

The Edinburgh plant got a £5m upgrade in 2011 with the installation of equipment for wrapping biscuits in chocolate. Burton’s chief executive Ben Clarke said at the time that the aim was to bring more Cadbury production to the site.