United Biscuits back on the block as Chinese firm’s offer crumbles

THE PRIVATE equity owners of United Biscuits are opening up a possible £2bn sale to new bidders after exclusive talks with a preferred suitor ended, people familiar with the matter said yesterday.

US food groups Kraft, Campbell Soup and Kellogg’s, which all looked at United Biscuits before Chinese food group Bright Food entered exclusive talks, are likely to be invited back into the process, the people said.

A number of rival buyout firms are also thought to be readying approaches for the business.

United Biscuits, Britain’s biggest snack food group and maker of McVitie’s biscuits and Hula Hoops, is owned by Blackstone and PAI Partners. Blackstone declined to comment last night, while PAI did not respond to requests for comment.