The deal has been struck with Yildiz Holding, the parent company of Ulker, which makes cookies, crackers and chocolates, for a reported £2bn.
“We look forward to being part of Yildiz as we continue to fulfil our growth potential both in the UK and abroad where we are looking to expand our share of the biscuit and snacking markets and where there is huge potential for all our brands,” said UB ceo Martin Glenn.
“I would like to thank Blackstone and PAI for their support. They have been instrumental in helping grow the company over the last few years.”
Lionel Assant, European head of private equity at Blackstone, said: “UB is a great business and has been an excellent investment for us. Yildiz is the best home for the company and will allow UB to fulfil its international growth ambitions.
“I would like to thank UB’s management team for the way in which they have led the company and wish UB well under new ownership.”
Frédéric Stévenin, partner at PAI Partners, commented: “UB is an iconic business with leading global brands. We are very proud to have been part of its development and wish everyone at the company continued successes over the years ahead.”
UB is a leading manufacturer and marketer of biscuits in the UK and second largest in the Netherlands, France, Belgium and Ireland.
Among UB’s popular brand names are McVitie’s, Penguin, go ahead!, McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes, Jacob’s, Jacob’s Cream Crackers, Twiglets, Mini Cheddars and Carr’s in the UK, and BN, Delacre, Verkade and Sultana in Continental Europe. UB owns and operates 16 manufacturing facilities of which seven are in the UK.
Ulker acquired premium chocolate business Godiva Chocolatier from Campbell Soup Company for $850,000 (£523M) in 2007 and raked in sales of 2.7bn Turkish Lira (£755.5M) in the year to December 31, 2013. It recorded pre-tax profit of 279.1M Turkish Lira (£78.1M) in that year.
The deal is expected to be closed shortly. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan acted as advisor to Blackstone and PAI. Centerview Partners acted as advisors to UB.