Former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy is understood to be leading a bid by private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) for the salty snacks business of United Biscuits.

CD&R, where Leahy is an advisor, is reported by Sky News to be one of a number of firms expected to submit offers for the division, whose products include Hula Hoops and KP Nuts, of around GBP500m (US$807.6m) next week.

A spokesperson for United Biscuits confirmed to just-food last month that it was “actively trying to sell the KP snacks business” and that documentation giving details of the business had been sent to potential purchasers.

It is understood the recipients of the sale documents were likely to include many European consumer-focused private-equity firms, US food groups including Kellogg and Kraft Foods, and possibly some Chinese food groups.

The spokesperson said there had been “a good level of interest” for the business but declined to comment on who the recipients were.

According to Sky News today, Leahy is understood to be working alongside Vindi Banga, the former head of Unilever’s food, home and personal care business on the bid.

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CD&R, which owns the Twiglets brand, is said to be one of a number of bidders, including German food manufacturer Internsack, interested in the division, the news site reported.

Neither Clayton Dubilier & Rice nor United Biscuits returned a request for comment at the time of going to press.