Talks to sell UK-based snack group United Biscuits to China’s Bright Food are “effectively dead”, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

Citing sources familiar with the situation, the WSJ said last night (26 October) that discussions between Bright Food and United Biscuits’ private-equity owners were “near collapse”.

Blackstone and PAI Partners had started exclusive talks with Bright Food on a deal that was estimated at around US$3.2bn.

The WSJ said it was uncertain what had damaged the talks but sources told the newspaper that Bright Food had become interested in nutrition retail chain GNC, which is reportedly looking for buyers.