Dean Best

Germans make another raid on UK food

By: Dean Best - 5 December 2012 15:20

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Intersnack has struck a deal to buy United Biscuits' salty snacks business, securing the third German acquisition of a UK food firm in 2012.

The owner of Pom-Bear crisps will attain a batch of brands that are snack staples in the UK like KP nuts and McCoy's to its portfolio.

The deal, announced today, will also dramatically increase its business in the UK. United Biscuits' salty snacks sales are GBP280m, compared to Intersnack UK revenue of GBP80m.

PepsiCo remains the snack titan in the UK but, along with Kellogg's acquisition of Pringles earlier this year, Intersnack's acquisition of the KP nuts-led business, will give the US giant stiffer competition.

And, intriguingly, Intersnack's swoop for the United Biscuits' business, is the third German takeover of a UK food manufacturer this year.

Two months ago, German group Zertus snapped up similarly-named Zetar, a UK firm that supplies own-label confectionery and snacks, as well as products developed under brands like Guinness and Tango, to UK retailers.

And earlier this year, yoghurt giant Muller acquired UK milk supplier Robert Wiseman Dairies.

At its base level, the takeovers could demonstrate the strength of privately-owned German companies operating with strong cash reserves.

However, Intersnack has indicated it believes the UK market is a good one in which to operate for all the gloom around the economy.

And with the UK Chancellor today promising another cut in corporation tax, the UK's attractiveness as a destination for investors could increase further. 

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