Weetabix to be sold to United States company for $1.8bnread story

Post is paying $1.76 billion for Weetabix, known for its flagship oversized high-fiber biscuit cereal. Reuters reported exclusively in December that Bright had hired Goldman Sachs to advise it on a sale. The deal signals Bright Food's struggle to appeal to Chinese consumers, who prefer hot rice meals over the United Kingdom staple.

Bright Food owns a 60 per cent stake, while Baring Private Equity Asia holds the remaining 40 per cent.

The cereal company, which has operated since 1932, also controls the Alpen, Readybrek and Weetos brands, amongst others. Its brands include Great Grains and Golden Crisp.

Weetabix's overall sales declined by 1.6 percent to 346 million pounds by the end of 2015, according to the company's latest financial statements.

Vitale added £20 million in annual cost savings his firm would seek from the purchase would come from factors such as shared administration services, rather than redundancies.

Post Holdings said that the deal will allow it to grow its us brands internationally and expand Weetabix in North America.

The deal could be formally announced before U.S. markets open on 18 April, the person added.

"This is a part of our internationalization strategy. Going forward Bright will stick to our overseas push", a company spokesman said.

Bright's acquisition was the largest by a Chinese firm at the time, but it is believed to have struggled to build significant market share in China.

Weetabix, the beloved British breakfast cereal, has officially failed at hawking its wares in China.

The dollar's recent strength and the pound's weakness helped Post fight off competition from Associated British Food and Italy's Barilla to land the breakfast giant.

According to the spokesperson, Post Holdings will also retain production of Weetabix and other products at the Weetabix UK factories in Burton Latimer and Corby, Northamptonshire and the new owners are supportive of the commitments to Weetabix's existing employees.

Vanessa Coleman