Chinese food conglomerate Bright Food Group is reported to be holding exclusive talks to acquire United Biscuits, the British and international biscuits and snacks manufacturer, for more than £2b. Private equity owners Blackstone Group and PAI Partners put United Biscuits up for sale earlier this year.
United Biscuits is one of the world’s leading branded biscuits and snacks businesses. The group’s products range from biscuits and crackers to cakes and savoury snacks and its portfolio of brands includes McVitie’s, Jacob’s, Carr’s, McCoy’s, Hula Hoops, McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes, KP, Mini Cheddars, go ahead!, Verkade, Sultana, BN, and Delacre. In 2009, United Biscuits increased EBITDA by 13.7% to £223.4m on turnover up 5% to £1.26b.
Meanwhile, the Chinese group’s dairy business Bright Dairy & Food is acquiring 51% of Synlait Milk, the New Zealand dairy company, for $82m, paving the way for the construction of a second milk powder plant to begin operations within 12 months. The plant will produce value added products, such as infant formula and other high specification formulated milk powders, and is part of Synlait’s ambition of tapping the Chinese market.