South East Wales

Burton's biscuit firm's £350m buy-out welcomed at Llantarnam

Jammie Dodgers on production line at Burton's Biscuit factory
Image caption The Jammie Dodger is just one of the famous biscuits made at the Torfaen factory

A £350m deal to buy the firm that makes Jammie Dodgers and Wagon Wheels has been welcomed by a Torfaen AM.

Burton's Biscuit Company will be owned from next month by Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP), which owns UK Lottery operator Camelot.

The deal sees OTPP acquire Burton's Llantarnam plant, near Cwmbran, which employs 800 people and recently had £4.6m of investment from Burton's.

Lynne Neagle AM said the company had a "bright future ahead of it".

The deal, announced on Monday, sees Canadian pension fund OTTP acquire Burton's manufacturing sites in Blackpool, Edinburgh, Llantarnam and its chocolate refinery in Moreton on the Wirral.

Burton's will continue to operate under its existing name.

Wagon Wheels

Labour's Ms Neagle said: "With more than 800 of my constituents employed at their site in Llantarnam, I've obviously been monitoring developments very closely since it was announced that Burton's had been put up for sale.

"The fact that over 30 potential buyers came forward to express an interest is a strong indication that Burton's has a bright future ahead if it, not least because of the very significant recent investment in production at Llantarnam, which I had the chance to see for myself during a visit earlier this year."

The Llantarnam plant makes nearly two tonnes of Wagon Wheels every hour, and also produces brands including Cadbury's Fingers, Jammie Dodgers and Maryland Cookies.

The factory was the subject of recent debate at the Senedd, during first minister's questions.

William Graham, Conservative AM for South Wales East, said: "Will the first minister outline Welsh government actions to ensure the production of Jammie Dodgers remains in Wales?"

The first minister replied: "It is obviously a time of uncertainty when any manufacturing facility is offered for sale.

"We will of course be monitoring the situation closely, to make sure that a new buyer is found, and one who wishes to continue production as it is and, hopefully, to expand in the future."

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