DORCHESTER-based Dorset Cereals has been sold for a reported £50 million.

The proposed change in ownership is not expected to affect the company’s current manufacturing base in Poundbury.

Associated British Foods, which owns the Jordans and Ryvita brands, has clinched the takeover in the face of competition from industry giants Kellogg and Weetabix.

Dorset Cereal is currently owned by Wellness Foods, which is based at Chertsey. Wellness is a subsidiary of Erbium Capital Partners and is backed by horseracing tycoons JP McManus and John Magnier.

Wellness Foods Limited, a health food group, purchased the award-winning firm in 2008.

A spokesman for Associated British Foods said: "We can confirm that The Jordans & Ryvita Company, part of Associated British Foods, has reached an agreement to purchase the Dorset Cereals brand from Wellness Foods, subject to regulatory approval.

"Until the acquisition has been cleared by the regulatory authorities, Dorset Cereals will continue to operate as a part of Wellness Foods, and it is inappropriate for us to comment further at this stage.

"We can confirm that our intention would be to maintain Dorset Cereals' existing manufacturing base in Poundbury, Dorset."