The Choice Assorted biscuits maker had been hinting since September that it had entered into negotiations, but refused to divulge the interested parties. The division up for grabs is Snackworks, which includes the Bakers, Baumann’s, Pyotts and Provita biscuit and cracker brands, as well as Willards potato crisps, Baker Street Snacks and Jumpin Jack flavoured popcorn.
In addition to Snackworks, AVI owns Five Roses and Freshpack (tea), I&J Frisco and Koffiehuis (coffee), as well as shoe brands Spitz and Green Cross.
“The company advises shareholders that it has progressed discussions with Mondelez International LLC regarding the potential acquisition of AVI’s Snackworks division,” it said in a statement.
“Bearing in mind that there can be no certainty that an agreement will be reached, AVI shareholders are advised to continue exercising caution when dealing in their AVI securities until a further announcement is made.”
AVI’s Snackworks division brought in revenue of $4.3bn ($270m) for the year ended 30 June 2021 and contributes about 32% to group revenue.
Mondelēz has been ramping up its presence in the snacking category, and most recently announced the acquisition of Greek croissant and baked snacks maker Chipita S.A. for $2bn, alongside Australian cookie and cracker producer Gourmet Food Holdings and other bolt-ons.
The Chicago-headquartered producer owns iconic biscuit brands like Oreo, TUC and Ritz, among a large range of other snack brands, including Cadbury’s and Toblerone.