United Biscuits, owner of brands such as McVitie’s and Penguin, has been sold to US and European private equity groups Blackstone and PAI for more than £1.6bn.
The deal follows a long-running bidding process with the two groups identified as frontrunners to take over the business after rival Premier Foods, which had teamed with NPM Capital and Lion Capital, pulled out of the talks in September.
The deal, which is subject to regulatory clearance from the European Commission and the UK Pension Regulator, is expected to be finalised at the end of the year.
United Biscuits is a dominant player in the European biscuit market holding the number position in the UK and a close second place in both France and Belgium.
Premier Foods, whose brands include the Oxo, Homepride and Fray Bentos, recently bought Campbell’s Soup UK & Ireland business for £460m.