US-based Campbell, the world’s largest soup company, is reported to be preparing a £1.5b break-up bid for United Biscuits, the British and international biscuits and snacks manufacturer. Campbell’s interest is in the biscuits part of United Biscuits, which includes the McVitie’s, Penguin, Jaffa Cakes and HobNobs brands. United Biscuits is also a major snacks manufacturer with a brands portfolio that incorporates McCoy’s crisps, Hula Hoops, KP Nuts and Twiglets.
In 2009, United Biscuits increased EBITDA by 13.7% to £223.4m on turnover up 5% to £1.26b. Current owners, private equity firms Blackstone Group and PAI Partners, which acquired United Biscuits for £1.6b four years ago, have put the company up for auction.
Three other US-based food groups – Krafts Foods, PepsiCo and Kellogg – are also believed to be potential bidders for United Biscuits.