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 Cereals is reported to be the UK's second largest muesli brand, employing over 100 people.

The company is currently owned by Wellness Foods, a Chertsey-based group who purchased the award-winning firm for £50 million in 2008.

Wellness is a subsidiary of Erbium Capital Partners and is backed by horseracing tycoons JP McManus and John Magnier.

In a statement from April this year Dorset Cereals said over two million households were buying the brand.

They added the company had seen the fastest growth in the number of buyers of any major brand in the cereal category, according to the latest Kantar World panel market data to January 5 2014.

According to The Telegraph, full year figures from Companies House showed Dorset Cereals had total sales of £36.1m in 2012 and profits of £15.7m.

The company's many accolades include being chosen for Hollywood stars' Oscar goodie-bags in 2012, winning numerous Great Taste awards and being voted one of Sainsbury's Magazine's Brands of the Decade in 2010.

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."

Commenting on the recent sale, Dorset Cereals said: “This is an ongoing, confidential process and the deal is yet to be concluded, subject to regulatory approval.”