Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan agrees to acquire Burton's Biscuits

TORONTO, Nov. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (Teachers') today announced an agreement to acquire Burton's Biscuit Company (Burton's), a major player in the UK biscuit market. Closing is expected prior to the end of November.

The terms of the transaction are not being disclosed and Burton's management will maintain a significant minority stake in the company. The acquisition of Burton's from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC (NYSE: APO) resulted from a competitive bidding process and is being led by Teachers' private equity investment division, Teachers' Private Capital (TPC).

Burton's is the only major biscuit manufacturer in the UK to focus solely on biscuits.  The company employs over 2,000 people around the UK, focused in three main manufacturing facilities, with head office in St. Albans. Recent annual sales were more than £340 million. Burton's has some of the best known brands in the UK biscuit market including Cadbury Fingers, Maryland Cookies, Jammie Dodgers, Wagon Wheels and Lyons.

"We look forward to supporting Burton's outstanding management team to grow the business in the UK and further into overseas markets.  There are also many strategic acquisitions to consider in those territories that can enhance these ambitious growth plans," said Jo Taylor, head of Teachers' London office.  "With its portfolio of iconic brands, Burton is set to lead the premium biscuit market for some time to come and use product innovation to appeal to consumers looking for delicious treats and snacks inside and outside the home."

Commenting on the agreement with OTPP, Ben Clarke, Burton's CEO, said: "We are delighted that OTPP will shortly acquire Burton's Biscuit Company. During this process we have met with over 30 different potential buyers and, as significant co-investors going forward, it was critical for the management team to find the right partner. With their combination of extraordinary financial firepower, true partnership approach and global expertise, it is clear to me that OTPP are the ideal partner for us. We are very excited about working with Jo Taylor and his team as we pursue our ambitious plans for growth both in the UK and internationally."

TPC activities include leading deals on a sole or partnered basis, investing in private equity funds in markets and sectors that it cannot efficiently access directly and co-investing with other like-minded private equity funds. TPC manages a global portfolio valued at approximately $12 billion.

About Teachers'
With $129.5 billion in net assets as of December 31, 2012, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan is the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada.  An independent organization, it invests the pension fund's assets and administers the pensions of 303,000 active and retired teachers in Ontario. For more information, including our 2012 and previous annual reports, visit www.otpp.com.  Follow us @OtppInfo

About Burton's Biscuit Company
Burton's Biscuit Company is a leading branded and own label supplier of quality biscuits and snacks and is the number two branded player and second largest biscuit supplier in the UK. It owns and bakes market-leading brands such as Maryland, Jammie Dodgers and Wagon Wheels, and bakes Cadbury biscuits under licence.

Headquartered in St. Albans, UK, the company operates manufacturing sites in Blackpool, Edinburgh, Llantarnam, and a chocolate refinery in Moreton, employing over 2,000 people.

SOURCE Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan

For further information:

Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan
Deborah Allan
Director, Communications
416-730-5347
deborah_allan@otpp.com