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United Biscuits

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United Biscuits (UK) Limited
United Biscuits
Company typePrivate
PredecessorUnited Biscuits (holdings) plc
Founded18 March 1948; 76 years ago (1948-03-18)
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Key people
Murat Ülker
David Murray
(Managing Director)[1]
Sridhar Ramamurthy
(Chief financial officer)[1]
ProductsSweet and salty snacks
RevenueIncrease £867.5 million (2020)[2]
Increase £83.0 million (2020)[2]
Increase £77.4 million (2020) [2]
Number of employees
4,526 (2018)
ParentPladis (50–75%)[3]

United Biscuits (UB) is a British multinational food manufacturer, makers of 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. In November 2014, the company was acquired by Yıldız Holding and is now part of Pladis.

United Biscuits manufactures in a number of countries across Europe, such as the Netherlands, France and Belgium. It also has a manufacturing site in India. Its company's headquarters is in Chiswick Business Park in west London.


United Biscuits (UB) was formed in 1948 by a merger of two Scottish family businesses: McVitie & Price and MacFarlane Lang.[4] In 1962, William Crawford & Sons, a business founded in Leith, Edinburgh in 1813 which was best known for its shortbread, was acquired by United Biscuits for £6 million.[5] In 1965, the company also acquired William MacDonald & Sons for £2.8 million, and brought the Penguin brand to the group.[6]

The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange as United biscuits plc on 27 July 1948.[7]

In 1972, United Biscuits acquired Carr's of Carlisle, makers of Table Water biscuits, from James Goldsmith's Cavenham Foods for £2.75 million.[8] Two years later in 1974, it acquired the US-based Keebler Company for $53 million. It also owned the Wimpy Bar fast food restaurant chain between 1977 and 1989.[9]

United Biscuits acquired the frozen food company Ross Young's from Hanson in 1988 for £335 million.[10]

It sold Keebler for $500 million in 1995 after giving up efforts to break into the American market.[11]

United Biscuits was de-listed from the London Stock Exchange and 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[12] and divested several part of its international business in Scandinavia, continental Europe, Asia (Keebler Malaysia and Singapore), several brands including TUC and 70% shareholding in Fazer Keksit (Biscuit) in Finland to Groupe Danone and Far East (China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) to Nabisco.[13] The company sold Young's Bluecrest in 2001, in order to concentrate on the sweet biscuit sector.[14] In September 2004, United Biscuits bought the UK portion of Groupe Danone's Jacob's Biscuit Group for £240 million, including Cream Crackers and Twiglets.[15] In July 2006, the company sold its Southern European biscuits business to Kraft Foods, which in turn left the owner syndicate.[16]

In October 2006, MidOcean Partners sold the company to a consortium made up of the Blackstone Group and PAI Partners.[17] The deal was completed in December 2006.[18][19]

In December 2012 UB agreed the sale of its KP Snacks business to Intersnack for £500 million.[20] On 3 November 2014, private equity funds managed by Blackstone and PAI Partners announced the sale of United Biscuits to Yıldız Holding.[21]


The core of the business is in the United Kingdom, where it produces biscuits under a number of brand names including: McVitie's biscuits and Jacob's Cream Crackers.[22]

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.[23]

The company's headquarters is in Chiswick Business Park in west London. The company's main UK distribution centre is at Ashby-de-la-Zouch.[24]




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.[26]

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.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Companies House Records". Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Annual Accounts for the tear ended 31 December 2020". Retrieved 2 October 2021.
  3. ^ "Companies House PSC register". Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  4. ^ "A New Biscuit Company." The Times [London, England] 19 March 1948: 9.
  5. ^ "United Biscuits Crawfords For More Than £6M." The Times [London, England] 24 May 1962: 19.
  6. ^ "£2.8M. Biscuit Merger." The Times [London, England] 21 January 1965: 22.
  7. ^ "Archive issuer list 1999". Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  8. ^ Anthony Rowley. "Cavenham sell biscuit interests for £4m." The Times [London, England] 5 July 1972: 19.
  9. ^ "Information on Wimpy's Franchise Archived 11 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine",Caterer Search. Retrieved on 29 January 2008.
  10. ^ "History". United Biscuits. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
  11. ^ United Biscuits Sells Keebler for $500 Million
  12. ^ "UB to weigh up its options". Eurofood. 25 April 2002. Retrieved 12 April 2007.
  13. ^ United Biscuits (holdings) Limited, 1999 Annual Report
  14. ^ "United Biscuits selling Young's stake". Eurofood. 29 March 2001. Retrieved 12 April 2007.
  15. ^ "Danone sells its UK biscuits to United". The Independent. 24 July 2004. Archived from the original on 27 December 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2007.
  16. ^ "City sandwich". The Daily Telegraph. London. 11 July 2006. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
  17. ^ Parkinson, Gary (26 October 2006). "Private-equity companies snap up United Biscuits in a [pound]1.6bn". The Independent. Retrieved 12 April 2007.
  18. ^ "Blackstone and PAI complete purchase of UB" (Press release). United Biscuits. 15 December 2006. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2007.
  19. ^ "Cinven, MidOcean to sell United Biscuits" (Press release). Alt Assets. 25 October 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  20. ^ "KP Snacks snapped up by Intersnack in £500m deal". Manchester Evening News. 5 December 2012. Archived from the original on 8 December 2012.
  21. ^ "Turkish food giant gobbles up United Biscuits". The Daily Telegraph. 3 November 2014. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  22. ^ "McVitie's and Jacob's owner Yildiz plans to sell British biscuits around the world". The Independent. 8 June 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  23. ^ "Team Builder". Business Today. 16 March 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  24. ^ "United Biscuits Midlands Distribution Centre". Mister What. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  25. ^ "United Bars are the eighties sweets we need to see back on our shelves". The Daily Edge. 9 February 2016.
  26. ^ "Pick of the Pops Biography". BBC. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2009.
  27. ^ "The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work". The Economist. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2017.

External links[edit]