McVitie’s and Jaffa Cakes maker United Biscuits is to be swallowed up by Turkish food conglomerate Yildiz Holdings in a deal believed to be worth £2bn (€2.56bn), it was announced today.
Yildiz was reported to have prevailed against rival bids from Burton’s and America’s Kellogg’s.
It said the deal, under which existing management at United would remain in place, would form the world’s third largest biscuit maker.
United – whose well-known brands include Jacob’s, Twiglets, Mini Cheddars, and Carr’s – was put up for sale by private equity owners Blackstone and PAI Partners.
Based in Hayes, Middlesex, it employs around 7,100 people with about 4,600 in the UK at sites including London, Manchester, Carlisle, Glasgow, Halifax, Liverpool and Leicestershire.
Yildiz, which also owns Belgium’s Godiva Chocolate and America’s De Met’s Candy Company, said it had a strong record building on brands.
The company has minimal sales and no manufacturing in the UK but a strong presence in North America, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as China and Japan.
It said it would try to drive growth for United Biscuits by using its worldwide distribution network.
Chairman Murat Ulker said the deal combined two complementary geographical footprints and opened up significant opportunities for further growth.
He added: “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.”