Chinese state-owned enterprise Bright Food Group will acquire a controlling stake in UK breakfast cereal maker Weetabix in a deal expected to close in the second half of 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported. Bright Food will buy a 60% stake in Weetabix from private equity firm Lion Capital, which will retain 40% of the firm. Weetabix is valued at US$1.9 billion and has the eighth-highest market share in the global cereal industry, producing cereal under brand names such as Weetos and Crunchy Bran. As a result of the deal, Bright Food will now have distribution channels in the UK, US, Canada, Italy and Israel, which could help the company peddle its other products in the West. Weetabix is the latest in a string of acquisitions by Chinese companies in the ailing European market. Cereal sales in China reached US$191 million (RMB1.2 billion) in 2011, an increase of 70% in the last five years.