Hicks Muse bids for UB with Nabisco

US venture capitalist Hicks Muse Tate & Furst is restructuring Hillsdown Holdings and bidding to acquire its second UK company, United Biscuits (UB).

US venture capitalist Hicks Muse Tate & Furst is restructuring Hillsdown Holdings and bidding to acquire its second UK company, United Biscuits (UB).

Hicks Muse has linked up with US biscuit company Nabisco to offer &£1.2bn for UB, but it could face a rival bid from a consortium including Danone, Deutsche Bank, French bank Paribas and the Cinven Group.

Hicks Muse has merged Premier Brands, which produces Typhoo tea, and Horizon Biscuits, maker of Cadbury’s Fingers, into a &£430m company under the Premier banner, after buying Hillsdown in July.

Former Premier overseas marketing manager Andrew Baker returns as divisional marketing director with responsibility for Premier and Horizon. He joins from food supplier Ebicerie St Georges, which he owned.

As marketing controllers, Chris Thomas, former marketing director of Premier Brands, and Andy Valentine, marketing controller at Horizon Biscuits, will report to Baker.

Baker is overseeing a four-way pitch for Typhoo’s &£15m above- and below-the-line account.

Hillsdown companies HL Foods and Chivers Hartley are to merge next year.

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