Blackstone and PAI, private-equity firms that own Britain’s United Biscuits, are said to be spinning off the company’s salty snacks division, according to recent reports. The unit includes such products as KP nuts and could be valued at approximately $785 million. Germany's Intersnack, known for its breakfast cereals in Europe, also is said to be interested in the sale. A successful bid from Kellogg's would mark the latest foray of an American firm into Britain's packaged-food business, following Kraft's near £12 billion takeover of chocolate maker Cadbury in early 2010.
The decision to spin off United Biscuits' snacks division comes in the wake of a similar move from larger rival Kraft, which is undergoing a split into a global snacks company and a North American grocery company.
Headquartered in the U.K., United Biscuits was founded in 1948 following the merger of two Scottish family businesses: McVitie & Price and MacFarlane Lang. The company was back in the spotlight last year when the McVitie's cookies division was asked to handle the special chocolate wedding cake for Prince William and his wife, Catherine.