UB "not for sale"

UB "not for sale"

United Biscuits' joint owners Blackstone and PAI Partners are not preparing to dispose of the UK biscuit maker, just-food understands.

The private-equity firms currently have no firm plans to sell or list the business and have not initiated an auction process, a source close to the situation indicated.

This weekend, fresh reports emerged United Biscuits will be put on the block when The Sunday Times suggested Blackstone and PAI have appointed JP Morgan to initiate an auction process. Elsewhere, it was reported United Biscuits' owners have started to prepare for a listing of the business this year.

Rumours of a possible sale of United Biscuits have circulated periodically since Blackstone and PAI failed to sell the business as a going concern in 2010. In 2012, the private-equity investors split United Biscuits into two units - salty snacks and sweet biscuits. The salty snacks business was then sold to Germany's Intersnack.

Since then, United Biscuits has pursued a strategy of expanding in emerging markets - notably entering the Middle East - while cutting costs and shedding jobs. 

Blackstone and PAI have consistently declined to comment on their plans for the business.