UK snack maker United Biscuits has said it will not now be acquiring W&R Jacob in the Republic of Ireland as part of its proposed acquisition of Jacob’s Biscuits from France’s Groupe Danone.

United Biscuits said it believes its proposed purchase of the Jacob’s business in the Republic of Ireland may have raised a number of competition issues. The company added that it continues to wait for competition authority approval for the purchase of the UK and Northern Ireland business of Jacob’s.

Danone meanwhile has announced that it has finalised the sale of W&R Jacob to privately-owned Fruitfield Foods.

“Today’s announcement of the sale to an independent local business with experience in the food industry but no biscuit operations to date, does not require the agreement of the antitrust authorities and is effective immediately,” Danone said.

W&R Jacob has sales of around €70m (US$84.1m) and a portfolio of brands including Kimberley, Mikado and Jacob’s Fig Rolls.