Media reports from earlier this week said that PEP, which wholly owns Griffin's foods, had appointed investment banks UBS AG and Goldman Sachs to conduct a review of the business earlier this year and is now looking to sell the company.
Officials from both PEP and Griffin's have refused to respond to the news reports, declining to comment on market speculation. The investment banks also did not respond to requests for confirmation from FoodNavigator-Asia that they were now also working on the sale.
PEP bought Griffin's from Danone for a reported NZ$385m in 2006. The buyout fund last month in collaboration with Unitas sold Independent Liquor for NZ$1.3bn to the Japanese brewer Asahi.
PEP was also a part of a consortium of investors that sold poultry producer Tegel Foods to Affinity Equity Partners for a reported NZ$600m in May this year.
Established in 1864, the company currently operates two manufacturing facilities in Auckland. This includes a biscuit factory and a savoury and wrapped snacks factory. It also operates two distribution centres located in Auckland and Christchurch.
Griffin's manufactures biscuit brands such as Chocolate Chippies, Meal Mates, Toffee Pops, Gingernuts and snack brands such as Eta and Nice & Natural. The company also produces Huntley & Palmers crackers, and recently acquired the Nice & Natural Wrapped Snacks business in New Zealand.
Griffin's claims it sells more than NZ$300m worth of products annually in the country, and is one of New Zealand’s largest food manufacturers.
According to news reports in the local media, Griffin's has been valued at NZ$750m, including debt.
Though no one buyer name has been prominent through the news reports, China-based Bright Foods said last month that Griffin's was on its radar as it sought mergers and acquisitions to expand in the region.