United Biscuits is set to buy a majority stake in Saudi snacks business Rana Confectionery Products.

The UK-based firm has teamed up with Saudi distributor Ali Zaid Al-Quraishi & Brothers Company to acquire Rana for an undisclosed sum.

United Biscuits, which sells its McVitie's brand in the Middle East, said the deal would expand the range of products it can sell in the region.

"UB has been working hard over the last five years alongside our strategic partners, such as Ali Zaid Al-Quraishi & Brothers Company, to establish McVitie's as a leading brand in the Middle East. Acquiring a Saudi based manufacturer of branded sweet snacks furthers our ability to serve consumers and customers in the Middle East with a wide range of preferred snacks," Jeff van der Eems, CEO of United Biscuits' international business, said.

The company's Saudi distributor said the acquisition of Rana would mean it could provide consumers with locally-made products.

"We see immense opportunity for local value addition by going beyond the traditional distribution model and to provide Saudi and Middle Eastern consumers locally manufactured sweet snacks, produced at similar quality standards to what they would expect to experience in Europe," Yousef Al Quraishi, MD of Ali Zaid Al-Quraishi & Brothers Company, said. "By shortening the shipping lead times, the products are in the hands of our customers faster and fresher. For our customers, this would also mean availability of a wider choice of quality snacks locally at attractive price points."