Golden Wonder's January sale

By Anita Awbi

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Golden wonder Potato chip Brand Pringles

Following last week's collapse of British snack maker Golden
Wonder, more than 60 prospective buyers have approached the
administrators hoping to acquire the rights to some of Britain's
most well known crisp brands.

Although the administrators are currently fielding interest, Northern Irish rival crisp manufacturer Tayto has already snapped up the Pringles Mini brand. It will continue to produce the snacks for Proctor and Gamble at the Corby plant, safeguarding 195 jobs.

And Irish crisp maker Largo Foods, German-based manufacturer Unisnack, and a Golden Wonder management team syndicate are all thought to be interested in the business, which is worth £15.5 million.

United Biscuits, owner of the rival snack producer KP, is also rumoured to be keen on the remaining brands, such as Nik-Naks, Wheat Crunchies, Golden Lights and Ringos.

But as yet the administrators could not confirm who is eyeing the outstanding parts of the business.

"It is pointless to talk about interested parties as there are more than 60. A sale will depend on how quickly we can move interested parties forward,"​ said a spokesperson at the joint administrators, Kroll.

The administrators are confident they will find a home for the more famous snack brands, after Golden Wonder's owner, the Yemeni Hayel Saeed Anam Group, was unable to find buyers late last year due to severe balance sheet losses.

But the own-label section of the business may lie unaccounted for, unless a supermarket steps forward to take ownership and convert operations into an exclusive private-label outfit.

Golden Wonder, which has changed hands numerous times over the years, cites the fiercely competitive UK crisps market as a major catalyst in its downfall.

In recent times rivals Bensons Crisps and Smiths Crisps have succumbed to industry pressure, with the former going into liquidation in 2001 and the latter being bought out by market leader Walkers, a subsidiary of PepsiCo.

Walkers, which now has more than 50 per cent market share, gradually ate away at Golden Wonder's leading margins to take the top spot in the mid-1990s with famous brands Doritos, Sensations and Quavers.

Golden Wonder found it hard to compete with the innovative company that was able to quickly capitalise on new consumer trends such as premium snacks and healthy eating alternatives.

The company suffered losses of £10.8m on sales of £87.8m in 2004, and it is expected to reveal more losses for last year. The figures have not been released yet, but the administrators confirm they are "significant".

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