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United Biscuits Sold to Turkish Group

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United Biscuits Sold to Turkish Group

United Biscuits Sold to Turkish Group
November 04
14:37 2014

Yildiz Holding, Turkey’s largest food and beverages group, is acquiring United Biscuits for a reported £2 billion from private equity companies Blackstone and PAI Partners after a competitive bidding process.

UB is a leading manufacturer and marketer of biscuits in the UK and second largest in the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Ireland. Among UB’s popular brand names are McVitie’s, Penguin, go ahead!, McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes, Jacob’s, Jacob’s Cream Crackers, Twiglets, Mini Cheddars and Carr’s in the UK, and BN, Delacre, Verkade and Sultana in Continental Europe. UB owns and operates 16 manufacturing facilities of which seven are in the UK.

Yıldız Holding has revenues in the region of TL12.4 billion (£3.5 billion) and operates 60 factories, 11 of which are in foreign countries. Yıldız Holding employs a workforce of 41,000 people and produces a range of products including biscuits, chocolate, edible oil, dairy products, cullinary products, baby food and packaging materials.

The acquisition of United Biscuits is in line with Yildiz Holding’s strategy to further diversify its business internationally, and brings together two highly complementary businesses to form the world’s third largest biscuit maker. Geographically, United Biscuits has a strong footprint in Europe and the UK. By contrast, Yildiz has very limited sales and no manufacturing assets in the UK, but has a strong presence in North America, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as China and Japan. In addition, United Biscuits’ attractive product and brand portfolio is highly complementary to Ülker, Yildiz’s flagship biscuits and confectionery brand.

Yildiz Holding, which also owns Godiva Chocolate and DeMet’s Candy Company, has a strong track record of building on iconic brands and incorporating them into its fast growing portfolio. Yildiz will now work closely with United Biscuits’ management team to drive further growth for the combined business by leveraging Yildiz’s extensive distribution network in international markets and through continued investment in master brands, expanding the product portfolio and the introduction of new categories through innovation.

Murat Ülker, chairman of Yıldız Holding, comments: “The addition of United Biscuits’ market-leading portfolio of brands will further strengthen Yildiz Holding’s position as a leading global consumer goods group, combining two highly complementary geographical footprints and opening significant opportunities for further growth. We want to grow United Biscuits to be a global player as part of Yildiz. This will include enhancing its position in the UK, where Yildiz currently has minimal presence, so we will continue to invest in the UK and Europe. We are very excited to work with United Biscuits’ strong and experienced management team to achieve our aim of building the world’s leading biscuits business.”

Martin Glenn, chief executive of United Biscuits, says: “We look forward to being part of Yildiz as we continue to fulfil our growth potential both in the UK and abroad where we are looking to expand our share of the biscuit and snacking markets and where there is huge potential for all our brands.”

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