SYDNEY-- Universal Robina Corp. of the Philippines bought New Zealand snack food company Griffin's Foods for NZ$700 million (US$609 million) from funds managed by Pacific Equity Partners, the companies said Monday.

The Australian private-equity firm had in 2006 paid NZ$385 million for the maker of popular biscuit brands including Gingernuts, Cookie Bear and MallowPuffs.

In 2011, China's Bright Food Group Co. held talks to buy Griffin's, but didn't follow through with a deal, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal at the time.

"We believe Griffin's is a natural strategic fit to our existing snack foods portfolio given its strong brand heritage in New Zealand," Lance Gokongwei, Universal Robina's chief executive, said in a statement.

The acquisition will allow the company to export Griffin's products throughout Asia to countries including Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and China.

Write to Ross Kelly at ross.kelly@wsj.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 20, 2014 22:45 ET (02:45 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.