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October 21, 2014

United Biscuits names Thomas Cook’s Meysman new chairman

United Biscuits, with owners weighing up whether to float or sell the business, has named Thomas Cook chair Frank Meysman as chairman of the UK biscuit manufacturer.

By Dean Best

United Biscuits, with owners weighing up whether to float or sell the business, has named Thomas Cook chair Frank Meysman as chairman of the UK biscuit manufacturer.

Meysman, who is also chairman of Belgium-based fence company Betafence, replaces David Fish, who is retiring from the McVitie’s owner.

Martin Glenn, United Biscuits’ CEO, said: “Given we are considering the next stage of our future, someone with Frank’s experience who understands both packaged goods and operating in a public market environment will bring invaluable experience to support the group.”

Earlier this month, it was reported United Biscuits’ private-equity owners, Blackstone Group and PAI Partners, had appointed three banks to oversee a potential float of the business.

Blackstone and PAI have been examining the possibility of either listing United Biscuits or selling the business as a going concern as they look to extract maximum value from their investment.

just-food understands bids of around GBP2bn (US$2.5bn) have been received for the business. Kellogg, Ulker and Burton’s Biscuit Co. have all been linked to the auction process.

Meysman, who will continue in his role of chair of UK travel operator Thomas Cook, said: “This is a very exciting opportunity and I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues as we deliver the next phase of the group’s global growth potential.”

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