United Biscuits

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United Biscuits
Type Private
Industry Food
Founded 1948
Founder(s) McVitie & Price
MacFarlane Laing
Headquarters Hayes, London,
United Kingdom
Key people Martin Glenn (CEO)
Jeffrey Van Der Eems (COO)
David Fish (Chairman)
Products Biscuits and savory snacks
Revenue £1,142.3 million (2007)
Operating income £141.7 million (2007)
Net income £24.0 million (2007)
Owner(s) Blackstone and PAI Partners[1]
Website www.unitedbiscuits.com

United Biscuits ("UB") is a British multinational food manufacturer, makers of the BN biscuits, McVitie's biscuits, Jacob's Cream Crackers, and Twiglets. The Company was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but in December 2006 it was acquired by a consortium of Blackstone Group and PAI Partners.


United Biscuits was formed in 1948 from the merger between McVitie & Price and MacFarlane Laing.[2]

In 1972, it acquired Carr's of Carlisle, makers of the eponymous Table Water biscuits.[3]

United Biscuits owned the Keebler Company from 1974 to 1995.[4] It also owned the Wimpy Bar fast food restaurant chain between 1977 and 1989.[5] It also acquired the chilled food company Ross Young's in 1988.[2]

The Company was acquired in May 2000 by Finalrealm, a consortium of financial investors, as well as Nabisco Holdings Corporation: as part of the transaction, UB acquired Nabisco's European businesses.[6]

The Company sold Young's Bluecrest in 2001, in order to concentrate on the sweet biscuit sector.[7]

In September 2004 the Company bought the UK portion of Groupe Danone's Jacob's Biscuit Group for £240 million.[8]

In July 2006 it sold its Southern European biscuits business to Kraft Foods, which in turn left the owner syndicate.[9]

In October 2006 the Company was sold to a consortium made up of the Blackstone Group and PAI Partners.[10] The deal was completed in December 2006.[11]

In December 2012 UB agreed the sale of its KP Snacks business to Intersnack.


The core of the business is in the United Kingdom, where it produces biscuits, crisps and baked bagged snacks under a number of brand names including: McVitie's biscuits, Jacob's Cream Crackers and Twiglets.

The company manufactures in a number of countries across Europe, such as the Netherlands, France and Belgium. It also has a manufacturing site in India.

The company's headquarters is in Hayes in suburban West London. The company's main UK distribution centre is at Ashby-de-la-Zouch.

United Biscuits Network[edit]

The United Biscuits Network, a closed-circuit radio network serving their factories across the UK which was active from 1970 to 1979, spawned the career of UK radio presenter Steve Allen and TV and radio personality Dale Winton.[12]

In popular culture[edit]

In his 2009 book The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, Alain de Botton chronicles his tour and brief experiences with employees of United Biscuits as they launched the "Moments" biscuit line.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Arnott, Sarah (2010-07-22). "United Biscuits private equity owners mull sale". The Independent (London). 
  2. ^ a b "History". United Biscuits. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  3. ^ "Our brands: Carr's". United Biscuits. Retrieved 2009-01-04. [dead link]
  4. ^ United Biscuits Sells Keebler for $500 Million
  5. ^ "Information on Wimpy's Franchise",Caterer Search. Retrieved on 2008-01-29.
  6. ^ ""UB to weigh up its options"". Eurofood. April 25, 2002. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  7. ^ ""United Biscuits selling Young's stake"". Eurofood. March 29, 2001. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  8. ^ ""Danone sells its UK biscuits to United"". The Independent. July 24, 2004. Retrieved 2007-04-12. [dead link]
  9. ^ "City sandwich". London: Telegraph. July 11, 2006. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  10. ^ Parkinson, Gary (October 26, 2006). ""Private-equity companies snap up United Biscuits in a [pound]1.6bn"". The Independent. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  11. ^ ""Blackstone and PAI complete purchase of UB"" (Press release). United Biscuits. December 15, 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  12. ^ "Pick of the Pops Biography". BBC. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 

External links[edit]