The UK snack manufacturer United Biscuits has dismissed claims in the press that it plans a public offering of shares scheduled for the second quarter of 2006.

The company has also downplayed suggestions that this follows the decision of US-based Kraft Foods Inc to withdraw from negotiations to buyout the Cinven Group Ltd and PAI Partners who own a 30% majority stake in the company.

“It is all purely speculation,” a spokesperson for United Biscuits told just-food today. “Even the fall-through of the Kraft sale is speculation.”

A report in the UK newspaper The Business yesterday (11 December) stated that four investment banks – JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, NM Rothschild and Deutsche Bank – have been invited to assess the sale options, considering both a floatation and trade deal.