Premier Foods has confirmed that it intends to make an offer for United Biscuits (UB), the privately owned UK maker of popular brands such as McVitie’s, Jaffa Cakes and KP.

Premier, which owns Branston and Quorn, acquired the UK and Irish businesses of Campbell Soup last month, bringing brands such as Homepride, Batchelors and Oxo into its portfolio.

Responding to a report in the Financial Times, Premier issued a statement affirming its rumoured interest. “While Premier currently intends to make such an offer in the near future, there can be no certainty that this will result in a transaction,” Premier said.

Premier is viewed as one of the top two contenders for UB alongside US investment bank Blackstone.

UB is expected to fetch approximately GBP1.7bn (US$3.22bn).