US-based investment bank Blackstone has remained silent on rumours that it is preparing a bid for privately owned United Biscuits.

“We are unable at this time to comment on speculation of this nature,” a company spokesperson told just-food.

A report in the Financial Times has suggested that the group, which was part of the consortium that snapped up Cadbury Schweppes’ European drinks business, will enter into the GBP1.7bn (US$3.22bn) battle for the maker of well-known brands such as Jaffa Cakes and McVities Biscuits.

Other top contenders for the business include a group led by the UK’s Premier Foods, who recently acquired the UK and Irish units of the Campbell Soup Company.