One of China's largest food groups yesterday snapped up Weetabix Food Company in a 1.2 billion ($2.4 billion) deal. Bright Foods has bought a 60 per cent stake in Weetabix from private equity firm Lion Capital.

Chinese state-owned Bright Foods has been looking at the British consumer goods sector for some time and held talks to buy Britain's United Biscuits last year.

The Weetabix deal sees Bright Foods take on the debt of the business as part of the deal leaving Lion Capital and management with the remaining 40 per cent of the shares. Bright Foods will expand the brand into Asia as well as further growth in North America.

Weetabix Food also owns the Alpen and Ready Brek brands.