Industry sources have told Sky News that although, in the past, talks for Burton’s to buy Fox’s had failed, the deal was far more likely to go through this time, and Burton’s was on the verge of entering exclusive talks with the brand’s owner 2 Sisters.
If negotiations are successful, the deal is expected to prompt Burton’s to auction its licence to produce Cadbury-branded biscuits, with possible buyers including Mondelēz, which bought Cadbury in 2010.
2 Sisters has experienced a difficult trading period of late – its last annual results to 1 August 2015 saw sales tumble 8.2% to £3.14bn. At the time, the company described the biscuit market as “under pressure for some time due to intense competition”.
A deal would make Burton’s a larger competitor to United Biscuits, though it is unlikely any official announcement will be made for several weeks.
A Burton's Biscuits spokesperson told British Baker: “We do not comment on speculation of this nature.”