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Bright Food ready for serious acquisitions

Staff writer |
Bright Food Group, the Chinese owner of British cereal maker Weetabix, said it is seeking acquisitions and can pay as much as 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) for a target.

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Bright Food is open to buying domestic and overseas companies and it isn't interested in deals that are "too small" and prefers to work on one acquisition at a time, Chairman Lyu Yongjie said in an interview on June 18, without providing further details. The company is also preparing an initial public offering for its Australian unit Manassen Foods, he said.

Bright Food, which controls Shanghai-listed Bright Dairy & Food Co, reached a preliminary agreement last month with private-equity firm Apax Partners LLP to buy its 56 percent stake in Tnuva for about $960 million, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The Israeli company is the country's largest food manufacturer and distributor.

Bright Food, which aims to develop into an international company, would consider acquisition targets with goods that can be sold in China and which would allow it to expand its products in their home market, Lyu said. They must also be suitable for a future IPO, the chairman added.

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