British Cookie Maker United Biscuits to be acquired by Yildiz Holding
United Biscuits’ private equity owners agreed to sell United Biscuits, the British cookie maker to Yildiz Holding of Turkey. According to sources this deal is worth over $3.2 billion or 2 billion pounds.
Yildiz Holding, which is the owner of the chocolate and cookie maker, Godiva Chocolate and Ulker Biskuvi Sanayi, beat out Burtons Biscuits and Kellogg Company, a rival owned by Canada‘s Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
The chief executive of United Biscuits, Martin Glenn said that they are looking forward to being part of Yildiz as they continue to fulfill their growth potential both in the U.K. and abroad where they are looking to expand their share of the biscuit and snacking markets and where there is huge potential for all their brands.
United Biscuits was brought by PAI Partners and Blackstone Group, for approximately £1.6 billion in 2006.
The European head of private equity at Blackstone, Lionel Assant said that United Biscuits is a great business and has been an excellent investment for them. He further stated that Yildiz is the best home for the company and will allow United Biscuits to fulfill its international growth ambitions.
United Biscuits is one of the biggest cracker and cookie makers in Britain. The company’s other key markets include the Ireland, Netherlands, France and Belgium. United Biscuits is the maker of Carr’s, McVitie’s and Jaffa Cakes. The company operates and owns 16 manufacturing plants.
Founded in 1944, Yildiz operates a variety of businesses mostly in the food sector. It also has businesses in information technology, finance, real estate and retailing. Yildiz employs approximately 41,000 employers, and in 2004 posted revenue of around $5.5 billion or 12.4 billion Turkish liras.
PAI and Blackstone were advised by JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. While legal advice to United Biscuits was provided by Centerview Partners.