The American owner of Cadbury is taking another bite out of Britain’s snacking market by striking a £200m deal to buy Grenade, the fast-growing maker of protein bars.
Sky News has learnt that Mondelez, the $82bn New York-listed food giant, has struck a deal to buy Grenade from its majority shareholder, Lion Capital.
One food industry source said the deal could be announced as soon as Monday.
Grenade, which was launched by husband-and-wife team Alan and Juliet Barratt in 2010, positions itself as a sports nutrition product owing to its high protein content.
It has capitalised on growing consumer demand for healthier snacking products which contain lower levels of sugar than many rival products, and has so far sold well over 100m bars.
Mr Barratt, who is also the company's chief executive, is understood to hold a significant minority stake, putting him in line for a substantial windfall.
EQT, the Swedish-based private equity firm, is also thought to be a small shareholder, having supported Lion's £72m purchase of Grenade in 2017.
The sale to Mondelez will realise a handsome return for Lion, which has backed a string of British consumer goods companies, such as the fashion retailer All Saints, hair products specialist GHD and the celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's North American venture.
One industry source said the Grenade deal would be Mondelez's most significant UK acquisition since its contentious takeover of Cadbury in 2009 sparked a political backlash.
The US foods behemoth has made expanding its healthier snacking portfolio a strategic priority amid growing consumer and political concerns about obesity.
Mr Barratt declined to comment when contacted by Sky News on Monday, while neither Mondelez nor Lion could be reached for comment.