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Archive - Tuesday, 28 May 2002
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Golden Wonder sold
Crisps and snacks group Golden Wonder is to be sold to Longolf, owners of rival crisp manufacturer The Snack Factory.
Longolf is buying Golden Wonder for an undisclosed sum from majority shareholder Bridgepoint Capital.
Bridgepoint Capital has been a large shareholder in Golden Wonder since the snack group was bought in a £156.5 million secondary buyout two years ago.
It is thought to be more than doubling its money through the deal.
Golden Wonder, based in Leicestershire, operates from two manufacturing sites employing 1,400 staff. It makes Golden Wonder crisps, Nik Naks knobbly sticks and Wheat Crunchies tubular-shaped crisps.
Its cheesy Wotsits brand is being sold in a separate deal to rival Walkers.
The deal is subject to review by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), expected to take about six weeks.
A spokesman for Snack Factory said he could not comment on prospective plans for the brands or whether there would be any job cuts, until after the OFT process was completed.
Walkers said it could not comment on plans for Wotsits, for the same reason. The deal marks the third change of ownership for Golden Wonder in less than a decade.
The group was founded in 1947 by William Alexander, a Scottish bakery owner who named his crisps after a variety of potato.
Imperial Foods bought the business in 1961, then Imperial was acquired by Hanson 25 years later. Hanson soon sold Golden Wonder to food conglomerate Dalgety.
In 1995, Dalgety sold the business to management, backed by venture capital firm Legal and General Ventures, and, in July 2000, it was bought by Bridgepoint in a secondary buyout.